Presidential Precinct

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The Presidential Precinct is a Charlottesville-based nonprofit that unites two of America’s premier universities, William & Mary and the University of Virginia, William Short’s Morven, and the homes of three Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, James Madison’s Montpelier and James Monroe’s Highland[1].


The Presidential Precinct was founded in 2012 as a modern manifestation of the relationship between Charlottesville's local founding fathers - Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe. The modern day organizations representing Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe: The University of Virginia, William & Mary, Monticello, Montpelier, Highland, and Morven, continue to seek unity in thought and purpose through the Precinct’s mission to empower the next generation of global leaders[2].

By the time the Department of State paid a visit in the summer of 2012, the new organization was ready to make its pitch: The gang of six would together host official department programs that brought emerging leaders from around the world to the U.S. to study American democracy with professors and other experts. The State Department would deliver the participants, but the Precinct would do the rest, including fund the visits. The first group came in December 2012, 35 young leaders from 35 countries.

Founder, James B. Murray, Jr., noted that “The biggest problem globally is how to build successful countries.” What if they could create a place in the heart of the oldest sustained democracy on the planet, close to the homes of several of its founders—what UVA Vice Provost for Global Affairs and Precinct board member Jeffrey Legro referred to in an interview as “the Silicon Valley of Democracy”—to talk about nation building[3]?

The Presidential Precinct Network

The Presidential Precinct Network is an exclusive and secure resource for emerging global leaders who aim to advance their ideas, their community's interests, and generate positive global change. Its members represent over 100 countries around the world - many who participated in Presidential Precinct programs. The Presidential Precinct Network serves as a tool that allows program participants to continue engaging with program participants beyond the duration of a Charlottesville or Williamsburg-based program.[4].


In its first five years, the Presidential Precinct brought over 450 leaders from 115 countries to Charlottesville and Williamsburg, Virginia through 49 unique programs. Programs were also attended by 550 students and faculty and resulted in 136 national and local news stories. The Presidential Precinct Network, itself just over two years old, has grown into a hub of over 2,500 members with 11,500 connections built between them[5].


  1. Web. Presidential Precinct, retrieved March 6, 2017.
  2. Web. Presidential Precinct, 5 Years at the Presidential Precinct, retrieved March 6, 2017.
  3. Web. Democracy U: Nonprofit unites schools, presidential homes to support global development, Graelyn Brashear, retrieved March 6, 2017.
  4. Web. Presidential Precinct, Network, retrieved March 6, 2017.
  5. Web. Presidential Precinct, 5 Years at the Presidential Precinct, retrieved March 6, 2017.

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