Marion F. Werkheiser

Founding Partner
Washington, DC & Richmond, Virginia

Marion Forsyth Werkheiser, cofounder and partner at The Heritas Group, is a global leader in cultural heritage law and its intersection with politics, social progress, and economic development.

Marion is cofounder and managing member of Cultural Heritage Partners, PLLC, the leading law and advocacy firm serving preservation clients and a strategic ally to The Heritas Group. She has counseled more than eighty enterprises across sectors on capacity-building, government relations, strategic planning, board development, program evaluation, fundraising, and risk management. In 2014, the Register of Professional Archaeologists honored her with the John F. Seiberling Award for her significant and sustained efforts in the conservation of archaeological resources.

Marion cofounded in 2004 the Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation and served as its inaugural vice-president. For four years she taught a seminar on international and domestic cultural property law at William & Mary Law School. Marion has published original scholarship and has edited several books, including Legal Perspectives on Cultural Resources, and Presenting Archaeology in Court: A Legal Guide to Protection of Sites. She is in demand as a conference speaker and is an expert member of the International Council on Monuments and Sites Committee on Legal, Financial and Administrative Issues.

Marion brings to her work a deep commitment to social change. She cofounded and for five years codirected the Phoenix Project, a nationally recognized social enterprise focused on improving business practices and sustainability of social sector organizations and preparing the next generation of social entrepreneurs. Her work received the Virginia Governor’s Award for Community Service. The Phoenix Project has since merged to form the Center for Social Entrepreneurship at George Mason University.

Marion has run grassroots and candidate political campaigns and maintains excellent relationships with legislators and staffers on Capitol Hill and in state houses across the country. She previously practiced corporate, regulatory, and international trade law in the Washington, DC office of Baker & Daniels. She also served as a legal fellow in the office of U.S. Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN).

Marion earned her J.D. from Harvard Law School and is licensed to practice law in California, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Indiana University, she was a Wells Scholar and earned her B.A. degree in political science and classical civilization with an emphasis in art and archaeology. In 2014 Indiana University named Marion the recipient of its Outstanding Young Alumni Award.

Marion, her husband and collaborator, Greg, and their daughter, Amelia, live in Petersburg, Virginia, where they restored a Civil War era homestead now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Three fun facts about Marion:

In the Lorton, Virginia country fair pie baking contest, Marion’s legendary key lime pie came in first place, out of one entrants.
Marion has personally knocked on 10,000 doors on behalf of political candidates and has trained more than 800 campaign volunteers.
Marion spent a summer during college “studying” and traveling to small museums along the French Riviera.