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Sam Williams

Assistant Director for External Relations, Professor of Practice    
Biography

Retired Metro Atlanta Chamber President Sam A. Williams, a nationally recognized expert in urban competitiveness, has joined the faculty of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University.

Williams, in his new position as a professor of practice, will help plan and participate in scholarly and practitioner-oriented events for the university’s city initiative – the Council for the Progress of Cities – guest lecture in the school’s various policy and leadership courses, and help establish internships and other experiential learning opportunities for Georgia State students.

Prior to retiring in 2014, Williams led metro Atlanta’s high-profile business community 17 years as chamber president after leading the downtown Atlanta business community as president of Central Atlanta Progress. He was a partner with Portman Properties, a global architect-development company, and the first staff member for Research Atlanta.

Williams has earned a national reputation for harnessing the power of business leaders to make cities thrive. He has penned a new book, The CEO as Urban Statesman (Mercer University Press, 2014), in which he uses case studies to argue that business leaders can and should contribute to their communities by using their business skills to solve public policy problems.

Williams holds degrees from the Harvard Business School and Georgia Institute of Technology