By Keisha J Kelley
May 25, 2021
Last Friday, Williams announced that she would be stepping down as Athletic Director at Alabama State. Williams came to ASU in 2016 as the deputy athletic director. She served as interim AD from 2017 to 2018 when she was named director of Intercollegiate Athletics. During her time at ASU, Williams has experienced tremendous success, with athletic teams winning 43 SWAC championships, three consecutive commissioner cups, and the conference academic award for the highest GPA (2019, 2020) under her leadership. In addition to the departmental success, Williams was named the 2018 Women Leaders in College Sports Division I (FCS) Administrator of the Year and was selected by her alma mater, North Carolina Central, as a 40-under-40 Class of 2016 honoree, recognizing young NCCU alumni who have made significant contributions in the arts, entertainment, healthcare, sciences, education, law, business, entrepreneurship, philanthropy, public service or government.
Not even a week later, Williams made a major announcement via her Instagram account. She announced that she has been named Chief Development Officer of the USA Basketball Federation. “I’m excited to have Jennifer join USA Basketball and lead our Foundation,” said USA Basketball CEO Jim Tooley. “Her experience in athletics, and in fundraising and development make her the ideal person to lead our foundation.”
As chief development officer of the USA Basketball Foundation, Williams will be responsible for all aspects of the USA Basketball Foundation, including developing a holistic fundraising platform to support various USA Basketball national team programs and youth and sport development initiatives.
“USA Basketball is synonymous with excellence; and it is truly an honor to join the team, and serve as the chief development officer, said Williams. “I would like to thank Jim Tooley for selecting me to lead in this capacity. I am excited to get started and look forward to working with our internal and external stakeholders and the entire USA Basketball family.”
Williams spent four years (2012-16) at North Carolina A&T State University as the associate athletic director for development and executive director of the Aggie Athletic Foundation. While there, Williams oversaw all giving initiatives for athletics, while overseeing the athletics marketing department. She also was the liaison between IMG Sports Properties and the department of athletics. In 2014, the Aggie Athletic Foundation was recognized as a model booster organization by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
Williams also worked at DePaul University as the assistant director of development for athletics (2009-12) and worked in development and marketing for Women Leaders in College Sports (formerly the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators).
Williams was named the 2018 Women Leaders in College Sports Division I (FCS) Administrator of the Year and was selected by her alma mater, North Carolina Central University, as a 40-under-40 Class of 2016 honoree, recognizing young NCCU alumni who have made significant contributions in the arts, entertainment, healthcare, sciences, education, law, business, entrepreneurship, philanthropy, public service or government.
A four-year letterman and two-year captain in women's basketball at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Williams began her professional career as a reporter for the Tar Heel Sports Network and as a production assistant for Fox Sports South.
The Detroit native earned her bachelor's degree as a double major in journalism and African American history at North Carolina, and a master's degree in athletic administration from NCCU, where she graduated magna cum laude.
In 2018 Williams was appointed to the NCAA Division I Council, where she served on the Football Oversight Committee as part of her council duties; and was an executive committee member of the National Association of Athletic Development Directors (NAADD).
She also served on the Women Leaders in College Sports Board of Directors, the NCAA Board of Governors Committee to Promote Cultural Diversity and Equity, the Black AD Alliance, and the Black Coaches United Board of Directors. Williams will begin her duties July 1.