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Jay Williams

Vice Chair of the Board

Jay Williams is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Center for Community Progress. Since July 2017, Williams has served as President of the Hartford Foundation. He is currently leading the foundation’s commitment to dismantle structural racism, achieve equity, and improve social and economic mobility in our region, in partnership with nonprofit organizations and community stakeholders. In his role, Williams serves on the boards of the MetroHartford Alliance, AdvanceCT, and is a member of the Governor’s Workforce Council. He is also a member of the Community Foundation Opportunity Network, board vice chair of the Council on Foundations, and board vice chair of the Center for Community Progress.

Prior to coming to the Foundation, Williams served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development where he led the federal economic development agenda for the United States. He also served as Deputy Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House where he was the principal liaison between the President of the United States and local elected officials. Previously, Williams served as the Executive Director of the federal Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers. He arrived in Washington, D.C. after serving as Mayor of the City of Youngstown, Ohio where he helped lead regional economic development initiatives to improve the city’s global competitiveness. Prior to being elected Mayor, Williams led a Community Development Agency in Youngstown.