Crystal Williams

December 8, 2022

In April 2022, teacher, leader, advocate, essayist, and poet Crystal Williams became the Rhode Island School of Design’s 18th president. Join us to welcome her to the Athenæum and to learn more about her work and career.


Crystal Williams believes that education, art and design, and commitments to equity and justice are essential to transforming our society. Williams has more than two decades of higher education experience as professor of English as well as serving in catalytic roles overseeing diversity, equity and inclusion at Boston University, Bates College and Reed College.

Also an award-winning poet and essayist, Williams has published four collections of poems and is the recipient of several artistic fellowships, grants and honors. Her work regularly appears in leading journals and magazines nationwide.

As RISD’s 18th president, Williams is helping to drive meaningful change centered on expanding inclusion, equity, and access in order to enhance a genuinely rich learning environment that consists of diverse experiences, viewpoints, and talents.

This season was generously supported by the following friends and partners:

Categories: Art History, Art, and Design