Wayne State University recently announced the appointment of Debra F. Williams as associate vice president and chief human resources officer.
Immediately prior to joining Wayne State, Williams was executive vice president at Right Management in Southfield, a global talent solutions company.
“Debra is a proud Wayne State alumna, and brings to the university a great depth of experience in human resources, operations, and in the city of Detroit,” said Bill Decatur, vice president for finance and business operations, treasurer and chief financial officer. “Her experience includes leadership and success in many areas of human resources, including talent acquisition and management, labor relations, leadership development, diversity and inclusion and organizational development. Debra’s strategic leadership will help Wayne State achieve its vision of being a premier, urban, public research university.”
A Michigan native with over 25 years of experience, she has held top human resources and operations leadership roles with St. John Providence Health System, Detroit Public Schools, McLaren Health, and RL Polk. She is also on the Board of Directors of Credential Check Corporation.
Passionate about community service, community engagement and professional development, Williams has provided board leadership for numerous professional and nonprofit organizations, including the Detroit chapters of the Society for Human Resource Management and the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources, as well as the United Way of Allen County. She is a 2018 recipient of the Michigan Chronicle’s Women of Excellence Award, and received the Athena Leadership Award in recognition of her professional excellence, community service and passion for assisting others in realizing their full leadership potential.
Williams earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Wayne State and an MBA from Lawrence Technological University.
She is an adjunct professor, published author, certified executive coach and frequent keynote speaker on leadership, diversity and inclusion and talent development.