Although he was called the president rather than the governor, Edward Maria Wingfield was the first leader of Jamestown. The first person to hold the title of governor in Jamestown was Sir Thomas Gates, who was appointed in 1610.
The first leaders of Jamestown were appointed by the Virginia Company, which organized and funded the settlement. Wingfield had a six-person council to help him govern, and their names were carried to Virginia in a sealed box. The members of the council that governed with Wingfield included the famous explorer John Smith. Gates was the sixth man to serve as leader of Jamestown.