David R. Williams Headshot

David R. Williams, PhD, MPH

Dr. David R. Williams is the Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Professor of African and African American Studies and Sociology at Harvard University. He is also chair of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. His research has enhanced our understanding of the complex ways in which socioeconomic status, race, stress, racism, health behavior, and religious involvement can affect health.

Previously, he directed the South African Stress and Health Study and was a key member of the team that conducted the National Study of American Life. He has served on the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics and on eight committees for the National Academy of Medicine, including the committee that prepared the Unequal Treatment report, and as a member of the MacArthur Foundation’s Research Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health. He has also served as the staff director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Commission to Build a Healthier America, and has worked on ethnic inequities with the Toronto Public Health Department, the National Health Service in the UK, and the Pan American Health Organization.

Prior to Harvard, Dr. Williams served on the faculties of Yale University and the University of Michigan. He earned an MPH from Loma Linda University and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Michigan.