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June 22, 2012

Former State Department Under Secretary Elected to Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s Board of Trustees

Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Board of Trustees has elected Judith A. McHale as a trustee of the Foundation. McHale is returning to the board, having served previously as a trustee from 2006-2009. She resigned in 2009 to accept a position in the U.S. Department of State and is now the managing principal of Cane Investments, LLC, a private investment company providing early stage capital and strategic advice to start-up companies.

From 2009-2011, McHale served as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of State where she oversaw the Bureaus of Education and Cultural Affairs, International Information Programs and Public Affairs. As a senior officer in the department and a principal advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, McHale worked to develop and implement a new strategic framework for public diplomacy in the 21st century. She played a key role in a number of bilateral strategic dialogues and worked closely with the White House and the National Security Council to develop coordinated global strategic communications across multiple government departments and agencies.

McHale is the former managing partner of the Global Environment Fund’s Africa Growth Fund and, prior to that engagement, was president and CEO of Discovery Communications Inc., the parent company of the Discovery Channel, a leading global media company with more than 125 television networks in 170 countries. She joined Discovery in 1987 as general counsel and served as president and chief operating officer before becoming CEO in 2004. During her tenure leading Discovery, she spearheaded numerous acquisitions, including The Learning Channel and The Travel Channel. Prior to serving with Discovery, McHale served as general counsel for MTV Networks including MTV, Nickelodeon and VH-1. A graduate of the University of Nottingham, England, and Fordham University Law School, McHale began her career as an attorney at the New York law firm of Battle Fowler, LLP.

McHale serves on the boards of Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. and Infrastructure Networks. She has served on the boards of John Hancock Financial Services Corp.; Potomac Power and Electric Company; Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc.; and Digital Globe Inc. She also has served on the boards of the Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa, Africare, the National Democratic Institute, Vital Voices and Scenic Hudson.

“In her previous service as a Colonial Williamsburg trustee, Judith McHale provided significant counsel on a range of issues as well as valuable assistance in conjunction with our assessment of the products catalog business model,” said Colin Campbell, president and CEO of Colonial Williamsburg. “Her experience and expertise lend a global perspective to our effort to advance public understanding of Colonial Williamsburg as a center for history, citizenship and democracy. Her considerable achievements in business and communications and her notable work in service to our nation are valuable assets to include among the strengths of Colonial Williamsburg’s governing board. We welcome her return as a trustee of the Foundation.”

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 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