Prior to her appointment as VA Assistant Secretary, Ms. Williams served as the Department of Defense (DOD), Deputy Assistant Secretary for Military Community and Family Policy where Ms. Williams was responsible for policy, advocacy, and oversight of all community support to service members and their families and survivors including; child, youth and family programs; state liaison initiatives, the department’s 24/7/365 online and call-in family assistance services; family violence prevention and intervention; Military One Source; military spouse career advancement; morale, welfare, and recreation; defense resale for commissaries and exchanges; Casualty and Mortuary Affairs; military funeral honors; and two Armed Forces Retirement Homes.
Ms. Williams has a distinguished career in communications covering more than 30 years. In the private sector, Ms. Williams was vice president at a social marketing and strategic communications firm where she was responsible for the strategic direction of media relations and oversight of the agency’s public awareness campaigns, focusing on issues affecting the veteran and military communities. Ms. Williams’ public sector career includes service as Director for Communication and Public Liaison at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and as Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications to the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. During that time, Ms. Williams also served as the Department of Veterans Affairs representative to the White House Council on Military Families.
Before her government service, Ms. Williams enjoyed a 25-year broadcast journalism career, receiving numerous awards including a National Emmy Award for Team Coverage of the attacks on September 11th and the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award for a documentary on apartheid in South Africa. She was a principal for many television network start-ups, including MSNBC, NBC’s 24-hour news channel where she was the Executive Producer of News covering Washington, DC and politics.
Ms. Williams was awarded fellowships in Ethical Decision Making at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg, Fla., and in National Security at the Air War College, part of the U.S. Air Force’s Air University in Montgomery, Ala. She has been published on the topic of mental health and today’s military families and is author of the local history book, Maritime Annapolis – A History of Watermen, Sail & Midshipmen
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