I am delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Abi Williams as the Director of the Institute for Global Leadership (IGL) and Professor of Practice of International Politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Dr. Williams will bring to both positions 30 years of outstanding experience in leadership roles in the varied worlds of think tanks, the United Nations, and academia.
Dr. Williams has longstanding ties with Tufts, having received his M.A.L.D. in 1986 and his Ph.D. in International Relations in 1987 from the Fletcher School. He is an alumnus of IGL’s flagship program, Education for Public Inquiry and International Citizenship (EPIIC) and in 2001 received the EPIIC Alumnus Award. In 2012, he was recognized for his global service and received the Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award.
He will be joining Tufts after a four-year term as the first President of The Hague Institute for Global Justice, where he spearheaded its development into a vibrant think and do tank working on issues at the critical intersection of peace, security, and justice. Under his leadership, the Institute developed a high-quality interdisciplinary program of research, convened global leaders and thinkers to discuss major contemporary challenges, and forged key partnerships with governments, universities, international organizations, and NGOs.
Prior to leading The Hague Institute, Dr. Williams served at the United States Institute of Peace as Senior Vice President of the Center for Conflict Management from 2010 to 2012, leading its work in major conflict zones such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and Libya, and as Vice President of the Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention from 2008 to 2009.
From 2001 to 2007 Dr. Williams was Director of Strategic Planning for United Nations Secretaries-General Ban Ki-Moon and Kofi Annan in New York. He gained valuable field operational experience, serving with the United Nations from 1994 to 2000 in peacekeeping operations in the Balkans and Haiti, in senior political and humanitarian roles.
As a scholar-practitioner, Dr. Williams has held academic appointments including as Centennial Fellow and Adjunct Professor of International Relations at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Africa Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University. He has published widely on conflict prevention and management, and international organizations. He was voted by students as Outstanding Teacher of the Walsh School in 1992, and was awarded the School’s Constantine E. Maguire Medal for service in 1991.
Dr. Williams has served on the governing boards of several non-profit and professional organizations including as Past Chair of the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS), and the U.S.-Netherlands Fulbright Commission.
I am confident that Dr. Williams will drive the mission and goals of the Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts, and will be an invaluable member of the Fletcher faculty. Please join me in welcoming him back to Tufts in his new role, which he will assume on July 1st.