UCLA Law Honors Williams Institute Founder Chuck Williams

Chuck Williams, philanthropist and founder of the Williams Institute at UCLA Law, shares his vision and reflects on the impact of Williams Institute research on public policy and the nation.

Since its founding in 2001 with an inaugural $2.5 million gift from Chuck Williams—at that time the largest donation ever given to any academic institution in support of a gay and lesbian academic program, in any discipline—the Williams Institute has gained national renown as an academic research center dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy. To date, Chuck Williams has committed more than $15 million to help establish the institute as a preeminent source of high-quality research in this area, with real-world relevance for judges, legislators, policymakers, media and the public.

Growth has been central to the Williams Institute’s success. During the past 12 years, what began as a small, part-time staff has expanded to 20 prominent scholars representing a broad range of backgrounds and disciplines. Experts at the Williams Institute have authored dozens of public policy studies and law review articles; filed amicus briefs in key court cases; provided expert testimony at legislative hearings; been widely cited in the national media; and trained more than 3,000 judges in the area of sexual orientation law.

Chuck Williams is the president of Williams & Associates.  Until 1985, Mr. Williams worked as a senior executive for Sperry Corporation, where he held several positions, including Vice President for Strategic and Business Planning and Vice President and General Manager for Worldwide Operations. Most recently, he has taught business courses in policy and strategy and consults in this area. Mr. Williams is currently a board member of the UCLA Foundation and UCLA School of Law Board of Advisors, as well as a member of the Gill Foundation’s OutGiving Advisory Committee. He has been recognized by various LGBT organizations and publications. Mr. Williams received both a B.A. degree and an M.B.A. degree from UCLA.