MacArthur Fellows Program

Eddie Williams

Policy Analyst and Civil Rights Leader | Class of 1988

Policy Analyst and Civil Rights Leader
Washington, District of Columbia
56 at time of award
May 8, 2017
Published August 1, 1988

About Eddie's Work

Eddie Williams is a policy analyst and an advocate for full political participation by black Americans and other minority populations.

Williams is the president emeritus, after serving thirty-two years, at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a research and public policy institution that is a major force in increasing the political participation of black Americans and other minorities, since its founding in 1970.  Its research findings have been instrumental in enabling black leaders, politicians, and others to highlight the needs of the nation’s poor and disadvantaged.  The center’s principal areas of work also include economic advancement and health policy, with a focus on promoting relationships across racial and ethnic lines.


Williams is president and chief executive officer of Eddie Williams & Associates, LLC, and president emeritus of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, headquartered in Washington, D.C.  His career has included journalism; appointments in the U.S. Senate (1959-60) and the U.S. Department of State (1961-68); and a vice-presidency (1968-72) at the University of Chicago.  In 1981, he co-founded the Committee on Policy for Racial Justice, and in 1982, the National Coalition on Black Voter Participation. 

Williams received a B.S. (1954) from the University of Illinois, and attended Atlanta University (1957) and Howard University (1960). 

Last updated January 1, 2005.

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