Meet Our President

Daniel Williams

A leader in education and equity-centered design, Daniel works to advance justice through education and community engagement.

Working to advance justice through education, philanthropy, and community engagement, Daniel believes deeply in the innate brilliance of community and the importance of centering the voices of those so often marginalized or ignored. Through his work as President + CEO of the Steelcase Foundation, Daniel has led the revision of the Foundation’s giving strategies to uplift community voice and provide more intentional support for partners while leveraging the Foundation’s influence and expertise to drive and support larger-scale social change. Prior to his work at Steelcase Foundation, Daniel worked towards equity and innovation in his roles as President + CEO of the West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology and co-founder + principal of Grand Rapids University Prep Academy.

Daniel’s commitments to justice, liberation, and equity-centered design continue to drive his work in philanthropy and throughout the community. In 2020, he was elected to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees for Grand Rapids Community College. In 2018, he was appointed by then-Governor Rick Snyder to join the Michigan Consortium of Advanced Networks, and in 2019, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer appointed him to a 4-year term as vice-chairperson of the MI-STEM Council. He is a 2021 Ascend Fellow, a 2022 Aspen Ideas Festival Fellow and speaker, and serves on a number of boards including the Council for Michigan Foundations, Grand Rapids Community Foundation, and the Governor’s Office of the Foundation Liaison Committee. He has been recognized with the Trust Award from the Better Business Bureau of West Michigan, named a Crain’s GR 200 Most influential Leader, is a three time 40 under 40 recipient, was named the Grand Rapids Business Journal’s 40 under 40 Distinguished Alumni, and was honored with the Phyllis Scott Activist Award by the Woodrick Center for Diversity at Grand Rapids Community College. Daniel has his Doctorate in Interdisciplinary Leadership from Creighton University, an MEd in Educational Leadership from Eastern Michigan University, and a BA from University of Iowa.

Contact Daniel

  What We've Learned  

Stefanie Gilmour

Ascend Fellowship

Daniel Williams, Steelcase Foundation President, has been selected as a 2021 Aspen Institute Ascend Fellow. Daniel is among

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