Charisse M. Williams is Director of Education Advancement and Advocacy at the Woodruff Arts Center.  Prior to that, she served as President of Young Audiences, Woodruff Arts Center, since August 2011. Before coming to Atlanta, Charisse lived in Washington, DC, where she served as a Program Officer at the Public Welfare Foundation overseeing its criminal justice and youth portfolios. She moved to Atlanta in 2007 to become founding Director of Posse Atlanta, an organization whose mission is to identify public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential who may be overlooked by traditional college selection processes and send them to college in supportive, multicultural teams—Posses—of 10 students.

A lover of the arts, Charisse has taught and performed dance for much of her life and has served as a reviewer on arts panels for the Maryland State Arts Council, Georgia Council for the Arts and currently, the City of Atlanta.  Ms. Williams is a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Advisory Council for the Arts, serves on the Board of Directors of Moving in the Spirit and the Board of Advisors of the Atlanta Speech School. She is also honored to be a member of the Governor’s Arts Learning Task Force. Charisse was a member of the 2011 class of Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta and is a proud graduate of the 2014 class of Leadership Atlanta.

She has spent her entire nonprofit career working to advance causes related to youth, education and social justice. Ms. Williams earned her Bachelor of Arts from Cornell University before attending Northwestern University School of Law, where she received her Juris Doctor degree.