Daniel Williams, EdD

President + CEO

Daniel Williams is the President and CEO of the West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology (WMCAT). A leader in urban education and facilitator in design thinking, Daniel works to advance equity in education and workforce development. Prior to WMCAT, he served as co-founder and principal of Grand Rapids University Prep Academy, the first Centers of Innovation School in Grand Rapids Public Schools. While at UPrep, Daniel led his team to achieving a graduation rate of more than 90 percent and 100 percent college acceptance rate each year. He was also named “Principal of the Year” by Grand Rapids Public Schools for 2014-15. Daniel has presented on best practices in two-generation family supports at The Aspen Institute’s Think XChange Conference and sits on their ASCEND two-generation post-secondary work group. Daniel has also presented on design thinking at Grand Valley State University, the National Points of Light Foundation, South By Southwest, and the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce’s Business Matters series. He leads community work around racial equity and opportunity as a member of the Grand Rapids Racial Equity Initiative, Co-Chair of the 4th-12th Work Group with KConnect, member of a National Equity Project cohort, Diversity Council for Varnum, and as a board member with Partners for a Racism Free Community. Daniel also serves on the Grand Rapids Downtown Improvement Board, the board for the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, and the Leadership Council of the ELO Network for out-of-school time providers. He was honored in 2017 with the Phyllis Scott Activist Award as part of the Giants Awards with Grand Rapids Community College Bob and Alecia Woodrick Center for Equity and Inclusion. In 2018, Daniel was one of seven leaders appointed by Governor Snyder to join the Michigan Consortium of Advanced Networks. Daniel is working to put forth recommendations that will usher in more equitable opportunities and outcomes for all residents of the state by allowing equal access to affordable broadband connectivity. He has a Doctorate in Education for Interdisciplinary Leadership from Creighton University, he received his Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Eastern Michigan University and his Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from University of Iowa.


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