Maggie Williams served as Director of the Institute of Politics from 2014 to 2017. Previously, Williams had been a member of the Institute of Politics (IOP) Senior Advisory Committee for seven years. In 2005, Williams was a fellow at the Institute of Politics and in 2006 she was a fellow at Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership.
Since 2005, Williams has been a partner in Griffin Williams Critical Point Management, a consulting firm that specializes in helping clients navigate challenging communications, organizational and political environments. Williams founded the firm with Dr. Patrick Griffin, Academic Director for the Public Affairs Institute at American University.
In 2008, Williams took a leave of absence from her firm to manage then Senator Hillary Clinton’s presidential primary campaign in its final months. Post-campaign, Williams served as an advisor to Secretary-of-State nominee Clinton’s confirmation and transitions teams.
Over the course of a 30-year career in public service, Williams has served in the White House as an Assistant to President Bill Clinton and chief-of-staff to the First Lady. Williams was the first person in White House history to hold both positions concurrently.
Williams was president of Fenton Communications, a media strategy and communications firm. She was chief-of-staff to President Clinton at the Clinton Foundation in New York City, where she guided the early stages of the Foundation’s program development and provided editorial counsel to the Clinton Library project in Little Rock, Arkansas.
She is the former communications director for the Children’s Defense Fund and managed media relations for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Democratic National Committee. Williams served as press secretary to former Senator Robert Torricelli during his first congressional race. She began her political career as an aide to U.S. Representative Morris K. Udall of Arizona.
Maggie Williams is a Trustee of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). She is a director of the Scholastic Corporation, and a board member of the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and the Eli Segal Citizen Leadership Program at Brandeis University. Williams serves as a U.S. Commissioner to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Williams holds an M.A. in communication philosophy from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in political science from Trinity College in Washington, D.C., where she received an honorary doctorate in 2009.
Bio as of 2014