Press Release


Dr. James Horn Will Lead New Foundation to Manage Preservation Virginia’s Historic Jamestowne

December 9, 2014

For Immediate Release – December 9, 2014  

Renowned Historian James Horn Will Lead New Foundation to Manage Preservation Virginia’s Historic Jamestowne

– New Preservation Virginia Foundation will ensure continued success of the archaeological and educational programs at Jamestown –

 RICHMOND – Preservation Virginia is pleased to announce that distinguished historian James Horn, D.Phil., will soon join the organization to head a new foundation, ensuring the continued success of Historic Jamestowne. Dr. Horn will take charge of fundraising and oversee ongoing archaeological fieldwork, collections development, educational programs and operations on site.   

Dr. Horn, a leading expert on early American history, presently is Vice President of Research and Historical Interpretation and the O’Neill Director of the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. In that capacity, he has overseen the management of programs and operations at Historic Jamestowne for the past five years under an agreement between Preservation Virginia and Colonial Williamsburg. Preservation Virginia’s agreement with Colonial Williamsburg ends on December 31, 2014.

Horn has a D.Phil. from the University of Sussex, England and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He has held fellowships at the Johns Hopkins University, the College of William and Mary and the Warren Center at Harvard University. Prior to joining the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in 2002, he taught history at the University of Brighton for 20 years, was visiting editor of publications at the Williamsburg-based Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, and was the Saunders Director of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at The Thomas Jefferson Foundation. He is the author and editor of six books, most recently the best-selling A Land As God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America and A Kingdom Strange: The Brief and Tragic History of the Lost Colony of Roanoke. He is currently working on two books: 1619 and the Origins of Modern America and a study of the Indian warrior chief, Opechancanough, brother of Powhatan and the principal leader of resistance to European settlement in Virginia for more than seventy years.

“We’re excited to have such a well-respected historian and scholar as part of our team. Jim’s expertise and knowledge of 17th century history will elevate our programs in anticipation of the anniversaries in 2019.  His knowledge and leadership will play an important role in building upon the significant archaeological research at the site,” said Elizabeth Kostelny, Executive Director of Preservation Virginia. “The creation of this new foundation and the addition of Dr. James Horn positions Historic Jamestowne for a stronger and more vibrant future.”

Preservation Virginia is gratified and encouraged by expressions of generous support from key donors who have shown interest in providing financial backing to help sustain and grow the new foundation. The new non-profit organization will be affiliated with Preservation Virginia but have its own board of directors. Its mission will be to raise support for the ongoing success of archaeological projects, collections and educational programs at Historic Jamestowne. Details, including the new foundation’s name, will be worked out in the months ahead as a board is appointed and its structure determined. Dr. Horn will oversee this transition. 

“Historic Jamestowne is a world-class archaeological site and I am delighted to join Preservation Virginia to lead the remarkable work that is taking place there,” said Dr. Horn. “I look forward to working with Dr. William “Bill” Kelso, his research team, and the exceptionally talented staff and volunteers to build upon past successes and make our public programs at Historic Jamestowne even better.” 

“The partnership with Colonial Williamsburg has benefited all of the Historic Triangle by sharing the results of the research and promoting awareness of this national and internationally significant historic place,” said Kostelny. “We look forward to future partnership opportunities.”

“Jim Horn has made invaluable contributions to Colonial Williamsburg in historical interpretation and enriching the guest experience for the past twelve years,” said Mitchell B. Reiss, President and CEO of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. “He has also been instrumental in leading Colonial Williamsburg’s efforts to assist Historic Jamestowne for the past five years. While sad that we will no longer benefit from Jim’s many talents, we are delighted that he will work to strengthen this unique historic site for future generations. We wish Jim and Historic Jamestowne every success and look forward to continuing to collaborate with Preservation Virginia in the future.”

Preservation Virginiaa private non-profit organization and statewide historic preservation leader founded in 1889, is dedicated to perpetuating and revitalizing Virginia’s cultural, architectural and historic heritage thereby ensuring that historic places are integral parts of the lives of present and future generations. In1893, Preservation Virginia acquired 22.5 acres of Jamestown Island, now part of Historic Jamestowne. In 1994, Preservation Virginia began an archaeological project called Jamestown Rediscovery to find the remains of the original James Fort, ca. 1607-1624. For more information, visit 


Press Contact

Elizabeth S. Kostelny 
Preservation Virginia
804.648.1889, x306