Former Metro Atlanta Chamber Exec Joins Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State
November 18, 2014 10:47 AM
From Georgia State University
Retired Metro Atlanta Chamber President Sam A. Williams, a nationally recognized expert in urban competitiveness, has joined the faculty of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University.
Williams, in his new position as a professor of practice, will help plan and participate in scholarly and practitioner-oriented events for the university’s city initiative – the Council for the Progress of Cities – guest lecture in the school’s various policy and leadership courses, and help establish internships and other experiential learning opportunities for Georgia State students.
“We are excited to have Sam Williams join our school,” says Dean Mary Beth Walker. “As former head of the network of business, government and nonprofit executives who advanced the growth of urban and suburban Atlanta during the last three decades, he worked with leaders across sectors to transform the region’s economy and find policy solutions to challenges.
“Our school is well-known for deep engagement in the policy world, putting our research into real action. That our students now have access to one of the nation’s most successful chamber executives will only broaden their academic experience and expand their future leadership potential.”
Prior to retiring in 2014, Williams led metro Atlanta’s high-profile business community 17 years as chamber president after leading the downtown Atlanta business community as president of Central Atlanta Progress. He was a partner with Portman Properties, a global architect-development company, and the first staff member for Research Atlanta.
Williams has earned a national reputation for harnessing the power of business leaders to make cities thrive. He has penned a new book, The CEO as Urban Statesman (Mercer University Press, 2014), in which he uses case studies to argue that business leaders can and should contribute to their communities by using their business skills to solve public policy problems.
“Sam Williams recognizes that cities are the economic engines that create the wealth of nations,” said former Atlanta mayor, Ambassador Andrew Young, who also served as chamber chair. “His book – a call to action and a manual for a new kind of civic engagement by business executives – is filled with practical advice for those who are willing to roll up their sleeves and make public private partnerships work to get things done in our cities.”
Williams holds degrees from the Harvard Business School and Georgia Institute of Technology.