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Fellows Forum

Ann Silverberg Williamson, ‘15

Ann Silverberg Williamson, ‘15

Executive Director, Utah Department of Human Services: Salt Lake City, UT

Ann Silverberg Williamson was appointed by Governor Gary R. Herbert to serve as Executive Director of Utah’s Department of Human Services, DHS, in October 2013. Williamson has dedicated her career to serving children, families, and adults through public-private partnerships.

As executive director, she is responsible for the success of DHS’s mission to provide Utahns assistance to live safe, healthy and successful lives. With a statewide workforce of over 4,000, Williamson guides the services and treatment for those in need to thrive in their homes and communities.  

The Utah Department of Human Services includes aging and adult services, child and family services, child support services, juvenile justice services, public guardian services, services for people with disabilities, substance abuse and mental health services, as well as the Utah State Developmental Center and the Utah State Hospital. 

Working closely with community partners, the department is focused upon prevention and early intervention efforts that are proven to achieve lasting results in support of independence and breaking cycles of multigenerational poverty, abuse and isolation.

A native of Louisiana, Williamson served that state for 16 years working in both the public and private sectors in the interests of human services. Throughout her career, she has been seen as a reformer seeking the most effective and efficient use of resources to produce results for those she serves.

Williamson led the Louisiana Department of Social Services (DSS, now Department of Children and Family Services) from 2001-2008, holding consecutive cabinet posts. While at the agency, Williamson championed the development of the integrated human service delivery program, "No Wrong Door," and led the department’s emergency response to the 2005 catastrophic hurricanes that impacted the state. During her tenure, the U.S. Department of Agriculture honored DSS with the Pinnacle Award, a national citation of excellence, for the department’s efforts following the storms.

From 2009 until 2013, as President and CEO of the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations (LANO), Williamson led advocacy efforts for the statewide member organization working to strengthen the effectiveness and sustainability of the nonprofit sector. In 2012, she was honored as one of the nation’s top 50 leaders by The NonProfit Times.

Williamson graduated from Wofford College, in Spartanburg, South Carolina, with a degree in theology and earned a master’s in Social Work from Louisiana State University (LSU). Williamson received awards from both Wofford College and LSU as a Distinguished Alumna.

She and her husband Tyler are the committed parents of three children - 10-year-old twin daughters and a 7-year-old son - now making Utah their home.