Colonial Williamsburg® The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's Official History and Citizenship Website

Page content
Reset text sizeResize text larger

December 6, 2011

Thomas F. Farrell II Named Chairman of Colonial Williamsburg Board of Trustees

Thomas F. Farrell II of Richmond, Va., was elected chairman of Colonial Williamsburg’s Board of Trustees during the board’s annual meeting Nov. 19. Farrell succeeds Richard G. Tilghman, who was elected Chairman Emeritus upon his retirement as a trustee of the Foundation. Tilghman was first elected to the board in 1994, was elected vice chairman in 2000 and chairman in 2008. Tilghman is the 10th person and Farrell the eleventh to serve as chairman of the Colonial Williamsburg Board of Trustees.

“Colonial Williamsburg is one of the leading institutions of its kind in the world,” said Farrell. “It is a living history museum that has evolved for close to a century. Its educational mission is to advance understanding of the origins and institutional workings of American democracy. Never has the work of Colonial Williamsburg -- which is about how well America works -- been more important than it is right now, for all the obvious reasons. I am very proud to be associated with it."

Farrell, a trustee of Colonial Williamsburg since 2006, is chairman, president and chief executive officer of Dominion Resources. Headquartered in Richmond, Dominion is one of America’s largest energy companies, with operations in 14 states. Farrell joined the company in 1995, was named president and chief executive officer in 2006 and chairman of the board in 2007. A leading expert on national energy issues and an advocate of a cohesive national energy policy, Farrell has chaired the Edison Electric Institute, the industry’s national trade association, during 2011.

Farrell is a member of the Business Roundtable and serves on the Board of Directors of Altria Group, Inc. He also has served on the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia, including a term as rector. He is a trustee of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and serves on the boards of Bon Secours Richmond Health System, Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Engineering Foundation, the University of Virginia’s College at Wise and the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations. Additionally, Farrell chairs Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s Commission on Higher Education Reform and has served as a member of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates, chair of the Management Roundtable and a member of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. He holds both undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Virginia.

Tilghman is chairman-retired of SunTrust Bank, Mid-Atlantic. A banker for 34 years, Tilghman previously served as chairman and chief executive officer of Crestar Bank and vice chairman of SunTrust Banks, Inc. A graduate of the University of Virginia, he has been involved in a governance capacity in numerous business, civic, educational and cultural organizations benefitting the City of Richmond and the Commonwealth of Virginia, including the Richmond Community Foundation, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Virginia Foundation of Independent Colleges, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Engineering Foundation and St. Catherine’s School. He serves on the board of directors of SYSCO Corporation.

The Colonial Williamsburg Board also elected Afsaneh Beschloss a senior trustee of the Foundation, upon her retirement from the board. She was first elected a trustee of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in 1999. Beschloss is president and chief executive officer of the Rock Creek Group and previously was treasurer and chief investment officer of the World Bank. A graduate of Oxford University, Beschloss is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Ford Foundation and the Investment Committee of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. She taught international trade at Oxford and has advised central banks and pension funds globally and authored books and journal articles.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. This town-sized living history museum tells the inspirational stories of our journey to become Americans through programs in the Historic Area and through the award-winning Revolutionary City program. Explore The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and discover the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum featuring the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670 – 1830 and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, comprising more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Colonial Williamsburg Hotels feature conference spaces and recreation activities from spa and fine dining to world-class golf. Colonial Williamsburg is committed to expanding its thought-provoking programming through education outreach on-site and online. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the preservation, research and educational programs of the Foundation. Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

Media Contact:
Tom Shrout
(757) 220-7265