Dr. Williams earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of North Carolina, graduating with honors in history. He earned his law degree at the Columbia University School of Law in New York City. During the course of his legal profession, he practiced corporate law and served as administrative vice president and counsel for Sea World, Inc. During the 1980's he and his wife Sandra were active writers, publishing a series of children's mysteries, adult mysteries and non-fiction works.
In 1994, Dr. Williams returned to Chapel Hill to earn his M.P.H. and Ph.D. degrees in Health Policy and Administration. He served for one year as a post-doctoral research fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, then accepted a faculty position at Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina, where he taught health law and management courses in the College of Business and was appointed to serve as Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs. He joined the staff of Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina in 2003 as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College, and in 2006 he became President of the University of Montevallo in Alabama.
In the spring of 2010 he was selected to serve as the 6th President of McNeese State University. Since his arrival at McNeese, he has presided over the development of a new strategic plan, which features the promotion of innovative teaching and learning, regional partnerships, service-learning opportunities, applied research, cultural engagement, and athletic excellence. He has frequently stated his desire for McNeese to play an active role in the civic and economic renaissance likely to transform Southwest Louisiana over the next five years.