Profile: Dawn Williams
Dr. Dawn Williams is the Dean of the Howard University School of Education. Her teaching experience spans over two decades where she has taught elementary students, high school students, undergraduate students, graduate students, and Ph.D. STEM faculty. Underlying all of her work are premises that include the indoctrination of social justice through teaching, research, and service. Prior to serving as dean of the Howard University School of Education (SOE), she served as a department chair and program coordinator. Through these positions, she has managed complex organizations; worked effectively with local, national, and international colleagues; secured and managed resources to support the institution’s strategic direction and vision; and built relationships with alumni, donors, foundations, local school districts, and professional/ academic communities. Dr. Williams is author and co-author of articles and book chapters that highlight the impact of K-12 macro educational policies targeted for urban school reform. She has also published largely in the emergent interdisciplinary field of engineering education. Over the past decade, she has been a recipient of several federal grants totaling approximately $4.3 million. Her research in the STEM and Educational Policy arena are focused on issues of access and diversity while promoting a conscious social justice agenda. She currently serves as the Principal Investigator for two leadership development grants totaling $1,500,000 with Prince George’s County Public Schools (MD) and Montgomery County Public Schools (MD). These projects entitled Educational Administration and Guided Leadership Experiences – III (EAGLE III) are committed to addressing the needs of urban and diverse school systems by expanding the pool of diverse and well-prepared professionals who aspire to the position of superintendent of schools or some other senior-level position. This academic partnership and model has exceeded expectations with not only high graduation rates, but also with high administrative placement rates among graduates. In 2014, while serving as the Department Chair for Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, the Urban Superintendent Academy (USA) in partnership with the American Association of School Administrators was launched. Notably, she has led the development of an academic proposal for a new Ph.D. program in Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies. The mission of this program is to produce executive leaders, policy analysts, researchers, and faculty members to lead and provide advocacy for Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and other organizations in higher education. Leading the department faculty, advisory board, external higher education policy community and other university stakeholders through this process provided experiential accounts regarding the movement of a vision into a program.