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W&M's Reiss named president of Washington College

  • Decade of serviceMitchell Reiss has been on the faculty and in the administration at the College of William & Mary since 1999. He served most recently as Ambassador in Residence.

    Photo by Stephen Salpukas

    Decade of service

Mitchell B. Reiss, an integral member of the College of William & Mary for the past decade, has been selected to be the next president of Washington College, in Chestertown, Maryland, it was announced today.

Reiss, who came to William & Mary in 1999, has held numerous senior leadership posts at the College, including dean of international affairs, director of the Wendy and Emery Reves Center for International Studies and vice provost for international affairs. He currently serves as the College’s Diplomat-in-Residence and also serves as a professor of both law and government.

“Washington College has chosen splendidly for its next president,” said William & Mary President Taylor Reveley. “Mitchell Reiss's accomplishments as a diplomat and as a dean, professor and scholar at William & Mary have been extraordinary.   Few people have credentials as glittering as Mitchell’s, and few people can match his imagination and energy.   Mitchell will lead Washington College marvelously.  We will miss Ambassador Reiss greatly at William & Mary, and we send him and his family to another of America's most historic colleges with our very best wishes.”

Reiss is well known as a heavyweight in the arena of international affairs. In 2003, Reiss took a leave of absence from the College to serve then-Secretary of State Colin Powell as Director of the Office of Policy Planning. Reiss was also appointed in 2004 by President George W. Bush as Special Envoy to the Northern Ireland Peace Process, with the rank of Ambassador. He returned to William & Mary in 2005 and continued to serve as the President’s Special Envoy until 2007.  During this period, Northern Ireland registered historic progress towards ending “the Troubles” and realizing the full promise of the Good Friday Agreement.  For his efforts, he received the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Award for Public Service.

Prior to coming to the College, Reiss served as chief negotiator for the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), which was established to prevent nuclear proliferation on the Korean peninsula. He has also served as a guest scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., practiced law at Covington & Burling, and was special assistant to the National Security Advisor as a White House Fellow in 1988-89.

Washington College, founded in 1782, is a private liberal arts college located in Chestertown, Maryland on the Eastern Shore. Officials announced that Reiss would assume the college’s top post on July 1, 2010. He is the college's 27th president and will succeed Baird Tipson.

“I am deeply honored to have been selected as Washington College’s next president,” said Reiss.  “My time at William & Mary has provided me with the best possible example of what a great liberal arts college should be.   Elisabeth and I are excited to be joining the Washington College family, but we will always hold dear the many wonderful people we have met at William & Mary and in Williamsburg.”