George H. Gilliam was Senior Fellow for National Engagement until August 2012. From 2004-2011, he was Assistant Director for Public Programs and Chair of the Miller Center Forum. He is a historian and the producer, writer, and narrator of the series, “The Ground Beneath Our Feet: Virginia’s History Since the Civil War,” which was broadcast on WCVETV 23 (Central Virginia’s PBS affiliate) beginning in February 1999. An attorney in private law practice in Charlottesville for more than 25 years before he returned to graduate school to study history, Gilliam is the author of “Business Entities A Virginia Law Practice System,” (Michie-Bobbs Merrill, 1982) and, with photographer Mark Meyer, of “Racin’,” the story of NASCAR/Winston Cup stock car racing (Howell Press, 1989).
Mr. Gilliam was a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Central Fidelity National Bank, Richmond, Va., from 1979 to 1998 (when it merged into Wachovia Bank), was Chairman of the Board of Directors of Southern Title Insurance Corporation from 1978 to 1983.
He served two terms as Chairman of the State Board for Community Colleges (the governing body for Virginia’s 23 community colleges), appointed by Governor Charles S. Robb in 1982 and reappointed by Governor Gerald L. Baliles in 1986. He served as a Commissioner of the Education Commission of the States from 1986 to 1994. From 1989 to 1993, he served as Chairman of the Pesticide Control Board, a regulatory board created in 1989 by the Virginia General Assembly.
Long active in governmental and political affairs, he was the Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress in 1974 from Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, and was a member of the Charlottesville City Council from 1972 to 1976. He served as Virginia State Chairman of the Carter/Mondale presidential campaign in 1980.
Mr. Gilliam is a 1965 graduate of Columbia University, a 1968 graduate of the University of Virginia Law School, and received his masters in history from U.Va. in 1997. His masters thesis, “Making Virginia Progressive: Courts and Parties, Railroads and Regulators, 18901910,” has been published in the Virginia Magazine of History & Biography. His article “Reconfiguring Virginia,” which examines the separation of West Virginia from Virginia in 1861, was the lead article in the 2000 volume of The Smithfield Review.
He is a Ph.D. candidate at the Corcoran Department of History at U.Va., where he is studying Southern history under the direction of Edward L. Ayers. His dissertation focuses on the economic culture of post-Reconstruction Virginia.
Mr. Gilliam teaches Virginia history at the University of Virginia. He has taught at Washington and Lee University and Piedmont Community College. He is a 1988 graduate of the Buck Baker Driving School in Rockingham, N.C., where he studied high-performance driving in Winston Cup-type stock cars. He has driven a Mitsubishi Eclipse Turbo in Showroom Stock class events at Summit Point, W.Va., Charlotte, N.C. and Rockingham, N.C. racetracks. He is a licensed pilot and a high-handicap, but clearly obsessed, golfer.
He is the father of three daughters, Louise (a graduate of Sweet Briar College); Carter (a graduate of the University of Virginia and Peabody School of Education, Vanderbilt University), a public school teacher in California; and Caroline (a graduate of Columbia University); and one son, George Harrison Gilliam, Jr., a student at Virginia Commonwealth University. He has five grandsons and two granddaughters.