Charise Williams

Acting Executive Director & Chief of Staff

Charise Williams is Acting ICJIA Executive Director. She also serves as agency Chief of Staff. In her dual role, she determines agency priorities and administers resources and programs to support them. She serves as liaison to the governor, General Assembly, ICJIA Board members, and state and national criminal justice officials and organizations. She also manages agency operations and departments and plans and directs all administrative, financial, and operational activities for the agency.

A graduate of the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, Ms. Williams possesses a mastery of progressive issues that directly correlate to the transformation and sustainability of urban communities and the residents that seek to live, work and invest in their neighborhoods. During her time at Harris, she was selected to be part of the inaugural class of the Cook County Fellows program, where she served as a Policy Fellow within President Toni Preckwinkle’s office, working on multiple county issues.

Prior to joining ICJIA, Ms. Williams worked as the Director of External Affairs for the Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL). In that role, she was responsible for stewarding the CFL brand, lobbying local and state policies, conceptualizing, developing, and facilitating projects related to the commitment of the CFL and the communities it serves.

Ms. Williams also served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Civic Engagement for the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office, tasked with developing a network of external partnerships, internal partners, and community leader across Illinois. She has extensive experience in collaborating with urban communities throughout the state and is inspired every day to be a voice for those who do not have a seat at the table.

Ms. Williams serves on the Board of Directors for Emerald South, Board President for the IMPACT Alumni Association, and is an alum of University of Chicago Booth Business School/Urban League IMPACT program, which strives to move the needle toward racial parity in leadership positions by developing and supporting emerging African-American leaders. Ms. Williams also works with multiple community organizations throughout Chicago and Cook County. Her focus is on increasing economic development in targeted communities through employment, education, strengthening families, and community development.

(312) 793-8550