Steelcase Foundation Appoints Daniel Williams as New President
Steelcase Foundation on Jan. 26 announced Daniel Williams, EdD will serve as its next president. Williams will officially start in his new role effective February 22, 2021. He most recently served as the President and CEO of the West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology (WMCAT).
The mission of the Steelcase Foundation is to empower people to reach their full potential. The Foundation believes quality, accessible public education is paramount to achieving this vision as well as generating work and cultural opportunities. Williams is uniquely suited to lead the Steelcase Foundation. As president and CEO of WMCAT, he worked extensively to advance equity in education and workforce development.
“We are delighted to welcome Daniel as the next president of the Steelcase Foundation,” said Kate Wolters, Chair, Steelcase Foundation Board of Trustees. “Daniel is an accomplished leader in urban education and works tirelessly to bring equity and innovation to West Michigan. His community work around racial equity and helping to expand access to social and economic opportunity for young people make him an ideal fit.”
Prior to WMCAT, Daniel served as co-founder and principal of Grand Rapids University Prep Academy, the first Centers of Innovation School in Grand Rapids Public Schools. While at UPrep, Daniel led his team to achieving a graduation rate of more than 90 percent and a college acceptance rate of 100 percent each year. In 2019, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer appointed Daniel as vice-chairperson of the MI-STEM Council. In 2018, he was one of seven leaders appointed by then-Governor Rick Snyder to join the Michigan Consortium of Advanced Networks.
“The Foundation’s focus on education is an important one, and I enter this role with the understanding we must support not only students, but their families and communities together. I believe in order to do our work well, we must listen first while centering all we do around the lived experiences of families and community by elevating their voices,” said Williams. “We must celebrate all they have done, especially in such a challenging year, and value their inherent knowledge. We must also challenge structures and systems that slow down progress. This begins by interrogating our own systems and structures that may be perpetuating the very inequity we are working to alleviate. I am thrilled to represent the Steelcase Foundation on this new challenge, working alongside community toward a more inclusive region where all can thrive.”
An endowed foundation independent from Steelcase Inc., the Foundation was established in 1951 by Steelcase founders and original directors. Today the foundation supports projects that drive systemic change in our communities with more than $5,000,000 in grants in the last fiscal year.