Skip to main content

Anne Williams-Isom

Anne Williams-Isom

James R. Dumpson Endowed Chair in Child Welfare
Office: Lincoln Center


BS, Political Science & Psychology, Fordham University
JD, Columbia Law School

Research Interests

Child Welfare
Child and family well being
Strategies to improve mental health for BIPOC
Systemic approches to racism and toxic stress and trauma


Anne Williams-Isom is a nonprofit executive with more than 25 years of leadership experience in large, complex organizations. 

She serves as the James R. Dumpson Chair in Child Welfare Studies at the Graduate School of Social Service at Fordham University working with faculty and students to develop research, programs, and policy analyses that improve services to at-risk children and families. 

Previously she served as the CEO and COO for the Harlem Children’s Zone. Ms. Williams-Isom oversaw all programs, led 2,000+ staff, and strengthened the organization’s use of data to improve services and outcomes for 25,000 participants.

Prior to joining HCZ, Ms. Williams-Isom worked in leadership at New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) for 13 years, concluding her tenure as Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Community and Government Affairs. While at ACS, she instituted and oversaw the implementation of several innovative initiatives, including the first ever ACS Leadership Academy for Child Protection, a program designed to help the 160 ACS Child Protective Managers lead the 3,800 frontline staff responsible for investigating the 55,000 reports of child abuse and neglect each year. 

Ms. Williams-Isom earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and psychology from Fordham University, her Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School and received an honorary doctorate from Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. 

She serves on the executive committee of the board of directors of Child Trends and the Central Park Conservancy; and the boards of Graham Windham, Collegiate School, Metropolitan Montessori School, Weill Cornell Medicine, Partnership Schools and the Advisory Board for Columbia Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Design. She is an alumna of the Aspen-Pahara Education Fellows Program and Annie E. Casey Foundation Children and Families Fellowship, as well as recipient of a Public Interest Achievement Award from the Public Interest Law Foundation at Columbia Law School.