Maggie Williams

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Maggie Williams
Personal details
Born Margaret Ann Williams
(1954-12-25) December 25, 1954 (age 62)
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Bill Barrett
Education Trinity Washington University
(BA)
University of Pennsylvania (MA)

Margaret Ann Williams (born December 25, 1954) is director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University[1] and a partner in Griffin Williams, a management-consulting firm.[2]

She was the campaign manager for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign. Following Clinton's win in the New Hampshire primary in January 2008, Williams was brought onto the Clinton campaign staff as a senior adviser. On February 10, 2008, she replaced Patti Solis Doyle as the campaign's manager.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Williams was born in Kansas City, Missouri. She attended high school at Notre Dame de Sion in Kansas City, Missouri. She earned her B.A. in Political Science from Trinity College (Washington D.C.) in 1977, and was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2009.[4] Williams also received a masters from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania in 1990.[citation needed]

Early career[edit]

Williams was an aide to Representative Morris K. Udall, Democrat of Arizona from 1977–78, Press Secretary for the Democratic National Committee in 1979, manager of the Press office of the D.N.C. convention in 1980, campaign press secretary for Representative Robert G. Torricelli, Democrat of New Jersey in 1982.[citation needed]

She was director of media relations for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in 1983, a member of the convention staff of the D.N.C. in 1984 and communications director for the Children's Defense Fund, 1984-1990.[5]

White House years[edit]

While at the Children's Defense Fund she met, and became friends with then First Lady of Arkansas Hillary Clinton. She served as Clinton's transition director in 1992 and as her chief of staff during her first term as First Lady of the United States (1993–1997), the first African American woman to hold that position and the first Chief of Staff to the First Lady who also served as an Assistant to the President.

As stated in Taylor Branch's The Clinton Tapes, in 1994, President Clinton turned to Williams "to compile confidential suggestions" on personnel shifts ... According to Branch, "When I asked how unusual it was for the first lady's office to be involved, he replied there was no easy blueprint for reorganizing the organizers. Williams was shrewd, discreet, and efficient."[6]

In a profile in Essence Magazine Ana Perez, who during George Bush's administration was the first Black person to serve as a press secretary to a First Lady said of Williams: "I am in awe of her...I have so much respect for her because she has this absolutely calm center and because she is a good and decent person. She's a do-gooder in every sense of the word."[7] She has been described as having "very good judgment on issues and people" by Leon Panetta.[8]

Vince Foster scandal[edit]

On the night of the death of deputy White House counsel Vince Foster in 1993, a Secret Service agent claimed he saw Williams remove two handfuls of folders from his office, which she vehemently denied.[9]

Post White House[edit]

After leaving the White House, Williams served as the President of Fenton Communications. In this position, she became the highest ranked black woman in an American top-50 public relations firm.[10] Previously, Williams served as a communications consultant in Paris.

President Bill Clinton asked Williams to be his chief of staff at the Clinton Foundation.[11] In June 2014, she was named Director of the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

2008 presidential campaign[edit]

Williams became the campaign manager for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign after being brought on as a senior adviser following Clinton's win in the New Hampshire primary in January 2008. On February 10, 2008, she replaced Patti Solis Doyle as the campaign's manager.[12] and infused Clinton's campaign "with a sense of purpose" according to staffers.[13]

In their book, The Battle for America: The Story of an Extraordinary Election, Haynes Johnson and Dan Balz wrote that with Williams in charge the campaign was more collegial and operated with greater efficiency.[14]

Boards and affiliations[edit]

In addition to her consulting business, Williams is a director of the Scholastic Publishing Corporation,[15] the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI). She is a trustee of the Rhode Island School of Design[16] and a US Commissioner for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). From 2000 to 2007, Williams also served as director at Delta Financial Corporation, a mortgage lender that filed for bankruptcy in December 2007.[17]

She serves on the Advisory Boards of the Eli J. Segal Citizenship Program at Brandeis University and the Institute of Politics (IOP) at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.[18]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Director: The Institute of Politics at Harvard University". iop.harvard.edu. Retrieved 2016-05-24. 
  2. ^ "A Conversation with Maggie WIlliams '77". Trinity Washington University. Summer 2010. Retrieved 2011-06-17. 
  3. ^ Beth Fouhy (2008-02-10). "Clinton replaces campaign manager". Associated Press. Archived from the original on February 13, 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  4. ^ "Maggie Williams, Commencement Address". Trinity College. Summer 2009. Retrieved 2011-02-10. 
  5. ^ "Maggie Williams, Ex-Chief Of Staff For Hillary Clinton, To Head Firm In D.C". Jet Magazine. 2000-10-16. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  6. ^ Branch, Taylor (2009). The Clinton tapes : wrestling history with the president (1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed.). New York, N.Y.: Simon & Schuster. pp. 160–161. ISBN 978-1-4165-4333-6. 
  7. ^ Vanessa J. Gallman, Women Who Make A Difference; Maggie Williams, Essence (October 1993)
  8. ^ "Pal Runs to Clinton's Rescue", McClatchy, February 16, 2008.
  9. ^ "News Radio 106.7 - The Michael Graham Show". Michaelgraham.com. Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Maggie Williams, Former Fellow". Harvard University Institute of Politics. Retrieved 2011-06-17. 
  11. ^ Martha T. Moore (2004-02-15). "Clinton Busy Writing Own Job Description". USA Today. Retrieved 2011-06-17. 
  12. ^ Beth Fouhy (2008-02-10). "Clinton replaces campaign manager". Associated Press. Archived from the original on February 13, 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  13. ^ Early mistakes couldn’t be fixed, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, June 4, 2008.
  14. ^ Dan Balz; Haynes Johnson (2009). The Battle for America: The Story of an Extraordinary Election. New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-14-311770-4. 
  15. ^ "Scholastic Committee Composition". Scholastic. Retrieved 2011-05-29. 
  16. ^ "Leadership - History, Mission + Governance". Risd.edu. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  17. ^ Glenn Thrush (2008-03-29). "Clinton campaign head made $200,000 with subprime lender". Newsday. Retrieved 2008-03-31. 
  18. ^ "Maggie Williams, Former Fellow". Harvard University Institute of Politics. Retrieved 2011-06-17. 

References[edit]

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