H. James Williams, Ph.D.

President Williams H. James Williams, Ph.D., C.M.A., J.D., LL.M., is the fifteenth president of Fisk University. Prior to his selection as president, he served as dean of the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University in Michigan.

President Williams earned a B.S. degree in accounting at North Carolina Central University, a Ph.D. degree in accounting at the University of Georgia (Athens), a M.B.A. degree in accounting at the University of Wisconsin (Madison) and the J.D. and LL.M. (Taxation) degrees at Georgetown University Law Center. President Williams is also a Certified Management Accountant, with a wealth of practical experiences, having worked in the public accounting profession and in the legal profession (as a corporate and tax attorney).

During his career, President Williams has made significant contributions to the Academy, receiving recognition for his outstanding teaching at Georgetown University, and three “Teacher of the Year Awards” at Florida A&M University and Texas Southern University. For his work with students and student organizations, President Williams has also received numerous recognitions and awards. His research work is widely published in scholarly and practitioner journals, including Accounting and Finance, Technovation, Issues in Accounting Education, Advances in Quantitative Analysis of Finance and Accounting, The Journal of Accountancy, The Practical Accountant, The Journal of Small Business Management, and The CPA Journal.

Finally, Dr. Williams serves on the Board of Directors of Fifth Third Bank (Tennessee) and Nashville Public Radio.  He is a member of the advisory group for the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority’s (MNAA) Air Service Coalition, The Alternative Board of Nashville, Co-Chair of the Higher Education Leaders for the AMP Project, Barefoot Republic Camp & Retreat Center Board of Advisors, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, The Economic Club of Nashville, HBCU-ETS Steering Committee, Leadership Nashville’s Class of 2013-2014, Co-Chair of the Education Advisory Council of the National Museum of African American Music, The Rotary Club of Nashville, Chi Boule Chapter of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, The Steering Committee, Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities and the University Club of Nashville.

You may also learn more about President Williams here.


President Williams is the 15th President of Fisk University.
He is currently a member of:

  • Rotary Club of Nashville
  • Leadership Nashville
  • Nashville City Club
  • University Club of Nashville
  • Chi Boule Chapter of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity
  • National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education
  • Association of Governing Boards (AGB)
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (1980 to Current)
  • American Accounting Association (1983 to Current)
  • Virginia and Maryland State Bar Associations (1988 and 1993 to Present)
  • Business Professionals of America (Honorary Lifetime Membership)
  • Certified Management Accountant
  • Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.


Georgetown University Law Center, LL.M., May, 1990

Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., February, 1989

(Transferred to Georgetown University Law Center, 1986)

University of Notre Dame Law School, August, 1985 - May 1986

University of Georgia, Ph.D., December, 1982 Major - Accounting; Related Field Finance

University of Wisconsin-Madison, M.B.A., August, 1979 Major — Accounting

North Carolina Central University, B.S., May, 1977 Major — Accounting

Past Professional Associations

Institute of Management Accounting (Past)
National Association of Hospitality Management Professionals (Past)
American Bar Association and National Bar Association (Past)
Mid- Atlantic Association Business School Deans (Past)
Mid-West Association of Business Deans (Past)
HBCU Deans Round Table (Past)
Association of Michigan Business School Deans (Past)
Southern Business Administration Association (SBAA) of Deans (Past)

Fisk Facts

Washington Monthly ranks Fisk #1 in research among liberal arts institutions in the South.