david R. williams


Professor of Public Health at Harvard who will serve as an honorary member

Dr. David R. Williams is the Florence and Laura Norman Professor of Public Health at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and professor of African and African American Studies and Sociology there. His prior academic appointments were at Yale University, and the University of Michigan. He holds a MPH (Master of Public Health) from Loma Linda University, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Williams is an internationally recognized authority on social influences on health. He has been an honored invitee as keynote speaker of scientific conferences in Europe, Africa, Australia, the Middle East, South America and across the United States. The author of more than 425 scientific papers, his research has enhanced our understanding of the complex ways in which race, socioeconomic status, stress, racism, health behavior and religious involvement can affect health. The Everyday Discrimination Scale that he developed is one of the most widely used measures of discrimination in health studies.

He has received numerous honors and awards, and has ranked among the top 10 most cited social scientists in the world. In 2005, Dr. Williams was acknowledged as the most cited black scholar in the social sciences. Thomson Reuters has called him “one of the world’s most influential scientific minds.” His research has been featured by some of the nation’s top print and television news organizations, and in his “TED Talk,” which was released in 2017.