Distinguished University Professor of Physics at University of Maryland, and Director of the university’s Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center.
Her research interests are in surface chemistry and nanotechnology. Her latest work includes bridging policy and technology perspectives for clean energy innovation. She founded the University of Maryland Materials Research Science and Engineering Center and served as its director from 1996 through 2009. She served as Chief Scientist at BP from 2010-14, and as Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) from 2014 until early 2017. Williams is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a foreign member of the Royal Society (London). She is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Physical Society, and the American Vacuum Society.