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Mitchell B. Reiss Edit Profile

academic administrator , ambassador , law educator

Mitchell B. Reiss is an academic administrator, law educator, former ambassador. He is a senior American diplomat who is now the President and CEO of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Virginia.


Mr. Reiss was born on June 12, 1957, in Dayton, Ohio, United States. He is a son of Martin H. and Rhea E. Reiss.


In 1979 Mitchell Reiss finished his education at Williams College, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree (cum laude). In 1982 he earned Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from Fletcher School of Advanced Diplomacy. The same year he obtained a Certificate from Academy of International Law, The Hague, Netherlands.

Mr. Reiss became a Doctor of Philosophy, after completing his education at Oxford University in 1985. In 1988 he was a graduate of Columbia University and obtained Juris Doctor degree.


Mr. Reiss was a special assistant to the director at International Institute for Strategic Studies, London, England. He served as a White House fellow and special assistant to national security adviser at National Security Council, Washington, DC, from 1988 till 1989. Mr. Reiss held the post of an associate at Covington & Burling (law firm), Washington, DC, between 1989 and 1992.

During the period of 1992-1995 Mitchell Reiss joined Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC, working as a guest scholar and director of nonproliferation and counterproliferation projects. Since 1995 he occupied the position at Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization, New York City, acting as a senior policy adviser and assistant executive director.

From 1992 to 1994 Mr. Reiss worked as a member of executive committee at British-American Project for the Successor Generation. In 1993-1995 he was a co-chair of Steering Group on Nonproliferation at Business Executives for National Security. He resumed his office as Council on Foreign Relations, project director of Policy Panel Series and co-chair of Term Member Advisory Committee, both in 1994-1995. guest on national and international radio and television programs; consultant to Los Alamos National Laboratory, Library of Congress, and U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.

Mr. Reiss acted as a director of Wendy & Emery Reves Center for International Studies, College William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, between 1999 and 2003, dean for international affairs, 1999-2003, vice provost for international affairs, 2005-2008, diplomat-in-residence, 2008-2010.

Mitchell Reiss was appointed professor of law & government at Marshall-Wythe Law School in 1999-2003. He was a director of policy planning staff at United States Department State, Washington, 2003-2005, special presidential envoy to Northern Ireland, 2003-2007.

Since 2010 Mr. Reiss served as a President of Washington College, Chestertown, Maryland. From 1992 to 1995 he acted as a guest scholar at Woodrow Wilson Center. Mr. Reiss was a senior associate at International Security Program, Center for Strategic & International Studies, Washington, between 2001 and 2003 and since 2005.

Mr. Reiss was also Governor Mitt Romney's national security advisor during his 2008 and 2012 presidential bids.

Besides, he was a contributor to books, including Implications of the Dissolution of the Soviet Union for Accidental/Inad- vertent Use of Nuclear Weapons, Weapons Proliferation in the 1990s, Bridging the Nonproliferation Divide: The United States and India. He also was a contributor of more than seventy articles and reviews to magazines and newspapers, including Ukrainian Weekly, Arms Control Today, Asian Survey, Hindu, Survival, and Journal of Arms Control and Disarmament.


  • As Colonial Williamsburg President & CEO, Mitchel Reiss manages $1.1 billion of assets, including 88 original and approximately 500 reconstructed buildings across 301 acres, the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, 67,000 American and British antiques and works of art, 60 million archaeological artifacts, six hotel properties, 11 restaurants, a spa, three golf courses, and 18 retail stores. He administers an annual budget of $200 million, leads 2,000 employees and 1,000 volunteers, and stewards over 110,000 donors.

    In 2017, Mr. Reiss secured Colonial Williamsburg's reaccreditation with the American Alliance of Museums, and Colonial Williamsburg was named to Forbes list of America's Best Mid-Size Employers. In 2018, Colonial Williamsburg received the USA TODAY 10 Best's "Best Virginia Attraction" award, and the Williamsburg Inn earned the Forbes Fifth Star as well as AAA's Five Diamond Award.


  • Sport & Clubs

    tennis, squash


Mitchell Reiss married Elizabeth Reiss on October 25, 1986. They are the parents of two children, Mathew A. and Michael E.

Martin H. Reiss - American

Rhea E. Reiss - American

Mathew A. Reiss - American

Michael E. Reiss - American

Elizabeth Reiss - American - actress