Named to Forbes’ 2021 List of Women 50 Over 50 Creating Social Change at Scale, and presented with a 2021 CEO Today Healthcare Award, Angela F. Williams is president and CEO of United Way Worldwide, the world’s largest privately funded non-profit.
With more than 30 years of leadership experience in the nonprofit and corporate sectors, Williams brings a long history of purpose-driven work to her role at United Way. Most recently, she was president and CEO of Easterseals, Inc. Before joining Easterseals, Williams spent 11 years as EVP, general counsel, and chief administration officer at YMCA of the USA.
Williams was raised in a military family, which influenced her decision to serve on active duty in the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) for more than six years following her graduation from the University of Texas School of Law. This experience, when few Black women served in the JAG Corps, was foundational to her commitment to service.
Her other leadership roles in government include serving on Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s Senate Judiciary Committee staff as special counsel on criminal law, prosecutor on the DOJ Civil Rights Division’s National Church Arson Task Force, and an Assistant U.S. Attorney.
In the corporate world, Williams was vice president and deputy general counsel for Sears Holdings Corp, as well as chief compliance and ethics officer after working at Bryan Cave law firm.
In 2006, directly before joining the YMCA, Williams was interfaith liaison for the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund, a nonprofit organization formed to provide critically needed donations to assist the survivors of Hurricane Katrina.
A native of Anderson, South Carolina, Williams earned a bachelor’s degree in American government from the University of Virginia, a juris doctor from the University of Texas School of Law and a master of divinity cum laude from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology, Virginia Union University.
Williams resides in Chicago with her husband, the Reverend Roderick Williams. She is a volunteer pastor at Chicago Apostolic Center.