Sports, Leadership & Life » Darnell Williams
The Sports, Leadership & Life series will explore the lessons offered by the games we watch and play. Our lineup of contributors — which includes New England leaders in business, culture, politics and sports — will reflect on how their lives and thinking were shaped by athletics in this weekly series.
Darnell Williams
Darnell L. Williams

A well-respected community leader, Darnell Williams is President and CEO of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, a nonprofit organization providing services and programs in education, career and personal development and employment for African-Americans and other residents of color. Mr. Williams is well-known to and often assists other culturally diverse organizations beyond African Americans. Prior to joining the Urban League, Mr. Williams was Manager of Management Recruitment and Development at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) as well as a Diversity Consultant in private practice.

Mr. Williams was President of the Springfield Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and served as the President of the NAACP New England Area Conference from 1996 to 2001. He is the former Director for the United Way of Pioneer Valley. Mr. Williams served as trustee of Bunker Hill Community College and Beaver Country Day School. He is a former board member of the Boston Workforce Development Coalition and the Federal Reserve Community Development Advisory Board. Mr. Williams is a current member of the Boston Study Group, Chief Executives' Club of Boston, and the MGH Multicultural Community Advisory Committee. He also serves as Trustee of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. In February 2008, he was appointed by Governor Deval Patrick to the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority.  He was recently appointed to the Co-operative Central Bank Board of Directors.

A highly respected advocate and requested speaker on issues of importance pertaining to the challenges faced by communities of color and low-income families, Mr. Williams was a contributing member to Boston's successful effort to win the 2004 Democratic National Convention. For his contributions within the Black community and the City of Boston, Mayor Thomas Menino presented him with the 2003 Community Service Award. Mr. Williams received the 2005 Paul Parks Veteran’s Community Service Award.  Mayor Thomas Menino appointed him as Chairman of the Roxbury Strategic Master Plan Oversight Committee (RSMPOC) in 2005.  In 2007, Mr. Williams was inducted into the Human Resources Alliance for African Americans (HRAAA) Hall of Fame.

A Gary, Indiana native, Mr. Williams earned his Master's degree in Education from Boston University after completing his undergraduate degree at American International College in Springfield, MA.

Darnell Williams and his wife Colleen, reside in Roxbury with their daughter, Imani.