Montpelier President Resigns to Lead New American Revolution Museum in Philadelphia


The Montpelier Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Michael C. Quinn today announced his resignation to become president and chief executive officer of the American Revolution Center in Philadelphia. “Mike has made a transformative contribution to Montpelier during his 12 years at the Foundation, and he will be missed,” said Gregory May, chairman of the board of directors. “The Montpelier Foundation and its board are greatly in Mike’s debt for his vision, leadership, and energy that have driven the success of James Madison’s Montpelier during his tenure as president.”

Quinn became president and CEO of The Montpelier Foundation in 1999, after serving as deputy director at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Quinn initiated a feasibility study to determine if the duPont mansion could be restored as James and Dolley Madison’s home, as its last private owner, Marion duPont Scott, had wished. Quinn was the driving force behind the nationally recognized four-year, $25-million restoration, completed to great acclaim in 2008. The restoration was renowned for its authenticity, attention to detail, craftsmanship, and use of original materials and recipes. Quinn was awarded the Preservation Medal from the Garden Club of America, and the 2008 Tourism Person of the Year by the Charlottesville-Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau for the restoration.

Sean T. O’Brien, executive vice president and chief operating officer, will continue to be in charge of operations at Montpelier while The Montpelier Foundation conducts the search for a new president. “Mike’s institutional knowledge is invaluable, and his vision and leadership will be missed,” said O’Brien. “We look forward to building on the significant foundation he has established to continue to achieve great milestones in the future.”

“It has been a great honor and privilege to be associated with Montpelier and The Montpelier Foundation for the last twelve years,” said Quinn. “I believe that the Foundation’s accomplishments during this time have transformed Montpelier into a dynamic historic site and meaningful educational institution, and it has been gratifying to have helped frame and accomplish this transformation.”

“The restoration of Madison’s home would not have happened without the vision, tenacity, and persuasiveness of Mike Quinn,” said Montpelier chairman emeritus William Lewis. “After taking the helm of Montpelier, he marshaled the support and funding necessary to transform a 1900s-era mansion into the home of the Father of the Constitution.”

“Today, Montpelier can be seen by visitors from around the world as the place where one of our greatest Founders imagined our system of government,” added past chairman Joe Grills. “Here they can learn about Madison’s contributions to the Constitution that still affect our lives everyday and inspire people around the world.”

In addition to the mansion restoration, Quinn presided over the design and construction of a new 15,000-square-foot Visitor Center and William duPont Gallery, which houses the Joe and Marge Grills Gallery, the Alan and Lou Potter Theater, the Museum Shop, Courtyard Café, duPont Gallery, and Grand Salon. He also spearheaded the formation of a teaching academy, the Center for the Constitution at James Madison’s Montpelier, and the renovation of a 20th-century carriage house into the William and Peyton Lewis Hall, the Center’s main facility. The Gateway to Montpelier was updated and made safer for visitors with the construction of a new road, bridge, and ticket booth during Quinn’s tenure.

Quinn also presided over major programmatic achievements, including an exciting and robust archaeology program, a curatorial program for furnishing the Madison mansion, and an expansion of the Center for the Constitution’s educational programs for teachers, judges, legislators, and other public servants. He also focused attention on the African-American experience at Montpelier with the building of timber frames of slave quarters in the South Yard, the completion of the restoration of the Gilmore Farm, a freedman’s home, and the restoration of the Montpelier 1910 Train Depot as an exhibit on Jim Crowe segregation.

Michael C. Quinn








Montpelier Staff