Vice President for Advancement and Executive Director of the Empire State College Foundation Walter Williams has been at SUNY Empire State College since 2015. He is responsible for the strategic planning and implementation of all fundraising efforts, as well as managing the alumni and student relations program that supports the college’s mission, vision and priorities. He is involved in both short- and long-range planning for the college. Williams is a strategic and innovative leader with a background in transforming advancement programs across complex institutions.
Previously, he held positions at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as senior advancement officer, School of Science; at Syracuse University as senior director of development for the School of Architecture; at Cornell University as both director of alumni affairs and development, School of Hotel Administration, and as director of alumni affairs and development for the College of Architecture, Art and Planning. He was also director of the annual fund, Office of Development at Ithaca College; director of annual giving at Slippery Rock University; and COO for both Chi Psi Fraternity and its related entity, the Chi Psi Educational Trust.
Williams has experience in cultivating significant new gifts, funding and grants, working with alumni, foundations, donors, volunteers, faculty, boards and corporations in solicitation and stewardship initiatives, as well as managing a large portfolio of prospects to leverage philanthropic commitments. Williams is involved in volunteer management, gift planning and working with advisory boards and executive teams, and in recruiting, training and leading collaborative teams within an entrepreneurial environment. Additionally, he has overseen development of print and electronic fundraising materials.
Williams has an M.S. in Organizational Communication, Learning and Design from Ithaca College and a B.S. in Journalism and Public Relations from the University of Mississippi.