Aaron S. Williams was sworn in as the eighteenth Director of the Peace Corps on August 24, 2009. Nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U. S. Senate on August 7, 2009, Mr. Williams is the fourth director in the Peace Corps’ history to have served as a Peace Corps Volunteer.
Mr. Williams served as a Volunteer from 1967 to 1970, first in a training program for rural school teachers in the small town of Monte Plata, Dominican Republic, and extended his service for a third year to work as a professor of teaching methods at the Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra in Santiago. Upon completing his service, he became the coordinator of minority recruitment and project evaluation officer for the Peace Corps in his hometown of Chicago (1970-1971).
Mr. Williams has pursued a career in the development and implementation of worldwide assistance programs. Mr. Williams was a vice president for International Business Development with RTI International. He was a senior manager at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), where he attained the rank of Career Minister in the U.S. Senior Foreign Service. He also served as executive vice president of the International Youth Foundation.
As USAID Mission Director in South Africa, Mr. Williams led a billion dollar foreign assistance program during President Nelson Mandela’s administration. In addition, he has extensive experience in the design and management of assistance programs in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. He was awarded the USAID Distinguished Career Service Award, and was twice awarded the Presidential Award for Distinguished Service.
He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and he was a member of the USAID Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid. He served on the Obama-Biden transition team, the advisory board of the Ron Brown Scholar Program, the board of directors of CARE, and the boards of the Institute for Sustainable Communities, the Pan American Development Foundation, and the National Peace Corps Association.
Mr. Williams is fluent in Spanish. He is a graduate of Chicago State University, and has an MBA from the University of Wisconsin. Mr. Williams met his wife Rosa during his service as a Volunteer in the Dominican Republic. The couple has two sons, Michael and Steven.