Kristen Williams has been selected as assistant dean for development and external relations and executive director of individual giving at UC Berkeley’s College of Computing, Data Science, and Society (CDSS). She started in the new role on Jan. 3.
Williams is a successful fundraising professional with nearly 20 years of experience at Berkeley, having served as assistant dean for external relations most recently at the School of Information. Before that, she secured the $50 million naming gift for the Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry and Vision Science, representing the largest philanthropic gift for such a school. She has also worked in development and alumni relations roles at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
Williams served as interim chief development officer for CDSS in 2022 before Maura McGinnity became CDSS’ senior assistant dean for development and external relations in early 2023. Williams’ prior work with CDSS helped lead to several significant gifts in support of interdisciplinary research and education, including a much needed cohort of faculty positions, development of a future online education program, and the lead gift to establish the Bakar Institute of Digital Materials for the Planet.
“Kristen is an exceptional development leader and fundraiser with an impressive track record at Berkeley,” said McGinnity. “I’m thrilled Kristen has joined our growing CDSS development team. Her leadership and expertise will meaningfully engage supporters and advance the compelling vision for Berkeley’s newest college to educate future leaders in data science and computer science and accelerate transformative research to the benefit of society.”
Last May, CDSS was approved as a college by the UC Board of Regents, the first new college at Berkeley in more than 50 years. CDSS aims to create accessible and equitable educational opportunities and catalyze groundbreaking research in computing, data science and statistics in order to meet society’s greatest challenges.
Looking ahead, Williams will help build and lead a CDSS fundraising team and collaborate with leaders, faculty and staff across Berkeley to create innovative donor engagement strategies and programs.