Mitchell Reiss

Mitchell Reiss

Mitchell Reiss is a speaker on geopolitical risk, negotiation and leadership. He is the author of three books including Negotiating with Evil: When to Talk to Terrorists.

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Mitchell Reiss's Biography

From negotiating with the IRA/Sinn Fein and North Korea to acting as CEO of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and President of Washington College, Mitchell Reiss has had as broad a career as any.

From 2003 to 2007, Reiss served as the President’s Special Envoy for the Northern Ireland Peace Process with the rank of Ambassador. He worked closely with the British and Irish governments to end the Troubles and restore local government, earning the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Award for Public Service. For the past 7 years, Mitchell Reiss has acted as the UK Government’s Representative to the Independent Reporting Commission, helping to end paramilitary activities in Northern Ireland. He previously served as General Counsel and Chief Negotiator for the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organisation, responsible for negotiating complex, diplomatically sensitive nuclear technology and construction agreements with North Korea.

Reiss’ public service career began when he was awarded a White House Fellowship to serve in the Reagan Administration. Along with his diplomatic expertise, his political career includes advisory work for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the U.S. Arms Control & Disarmament Agency, the Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories, and as Director of the Office of Policy Planning in the U.S. Department of State. He further served as National Security Adviser to Governor Mitt Romney on his two presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012.

Additionally, Mitchell Reiss is a proven leader in the private and non-profit sectors, most significantly operating as President & CEO (2014-2019) for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, America’s largest living history museum. Under Reiss’ leadership, the Foundation won Forbes' Best Places to Work award, generated profitable commercial operations for the first time in its history and increased visitation and donations year-upon-year.

His vast experience in rapidly-changing geopolitical situations and transforming complex organisations, which have honed Reiss’ key qualities of leadership and diplomacy, are all the more pertinent in a time where global dysfunction and uncertainty are on the rise. Reiss was recently appointed a Distinguished Fellow of the Royal United Services Institute, where he is examining the impact of America’s current political dysfunction and the prospect of a second Trump Administration on regional unrest, global stability, and multinational businesses.

Previously, Mitchell Reiss co-led Brunswick Group’s Geopolitical Practice Group and was a Distinguished Scholar at the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars in Washington, DC.


Negotiating with Evil

When to Talk to Terrorists

Bridled Ambition

Why Countries Constrain Their Nuclear Capabilities

Without the Bomb

Politics of Nuclear Non-Profileration

Articles & Videos

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