In the realms of business consultancy and corporate citizenship, few names resonate with the impact and expertise of David Williams. His career, spanning more than three decades, is a testament to his unwavering commitment to excellence, integrity and social responsibility. David, a principal at Deloitte and former Points of Light board member, has not only shaped the landscape of business consulting but also left an indelible mark on societal advancement through his diverse roles and contributions.
At Deloitte, David has been a pillar of innovation. He served as the CEO of Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP and Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics, guiding teams through periods of significant growth and strategic repositioning. Under his leadership, these subsidiaries nearly doubled in size and profitability, a feat achieved through a keen understanding of market dynamics and an unrelenting focus on sustainable growth.
David’s expertise isn’t limited to financial advisory. His roles within Deloitte, including serving on its board and as a global business leader, highlight his versatile leadership capabilities. His proficiency in strategic planning, business transformation and performance measurement has been instrumental in guiding Deloitte through complex market environments.
Post his tenure as CEO, David took on the role of Deloitte’s leader of policy, government relations and corporate citizenship. Here, he showcased his ability to blend business acumen with societal needs. He focused on influencing policy and legislative issues, aligning them with Deloitte’s business strategies while advancing societal goals.
With an educational background in economics and finance from the University of Pennsylvania and Wharton School, coupled with his association with the American Bar Association, David brings a unique perspective to his roles. His regular interactions with top-tier media and prominent industry conferences underscore his status as a thought leader in the business world.
David’s influence extends well beyond the corporate corridors. His work with the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Alliance stands out. As noted by AmeriCorps CEO Michael Smith, David was pivotal in designing the MBK Community Challenge. His approach combined a deep understanding of the societal and economic implications, underlined by a strategy that resonated with both families and corporate leaders.
“David was one of the first individuals and business leaders to answer President Obama’s call to action to help improve life outcomes for boys and young men of color,” Michael shared. “The initiative was launched late in the administration, which made it even more important that there was a strong public-private partnership that could help embed the work and ensure it had staying power… From day one, David brought a deep personal commitment for the work. It was personal to him. He understood the obstacles that boys and young men of color – like he was – face, and how seemingly small acts of kindness could open doors of opportunity for youth that might otherwise not meet their full potential. David also deeply understood the business and economic case for the work and helped us shape a strategy that would not only make sense to moms of our boys but for corporate leaders who could see America’s global competitiveness was inextricably linked with reducing barriers and expanding opportunity for boys and young men of color and their families.”
David’s tenure on various boards, including Independent Sector and Points of Light, has been marked by strategic insight and a commitment to integrity. His ability to simplify complex issues and engage thoughtfully in discussions has been a hallmark of his board contributions. As noted by Jeff Moore, chief strategy officer at Independent Sector, David’s analytic clarity and focus on the core issues have been invaluable.
“David has a unique talent for seeing simplicity in great complexity,” said Jeff. “He’s persuasive and authoritative, yet never off-putting. He doesn’t dominate conversations, which means when he does choose to engage, people really listen. His insights are invaluable; they push your thinking and help clarify the direction we should take.”
At Points of Light, David’s contributions have been significant. He served in various capacities, with a tenure characterized by intelligent leadership, as recalled by Pamela Norley, former president of Fidelity Charitable.
“David has been an extraordinary Points of Light contributor,” Pamela reflected. “First, as head of the Corporate Service Council, then as a board member, followed by serving as co-vice chair and finally co-leading the recent POL CEO Search Committee. He’s smart, funny, no nonsense and a wonderful person who I am privileged to have had the opportunity to work with at Points of Light.”
David’s approach to mentorship and coaching has been inclusive and empowering. He has been open to sharing his experiences, guiding both staff and board members and fostering a culture of trust and preparedness. His extraordinary listening skills and ability to engage constructively have made him a respected figure in every room.
Jean Becker, former chief of staff to President George H. W. Bush and Points of Light board member, spoke highly of him, saying, “He’s just one of the smartest people I know,” Jean said. “I liked to sit next to him at the meetings, and not just because we agreed on a lot of things. I found him to be so wise. He’s just so insightful and can think through an issue or a challenge – think both with his mind and through his heart – finding the best solutions, the best path forward.”
“Beyond lending his head and his heart to the work, I will always appreciate his humor,” said Michael Smith. “In serious moments David could always keep us grounded and focused on building personal relationships, which were pivotal to the mission. He also was a mentor and role model that I could look up to and call on whenever needed over these past ten years. And I know that was a role he cherished for not only me, but for youth and young staffers who always knew his door was open.”
David Williams’s journey is more than a career; it’s a blueprint for balancing professional excellence with societal impact. His leadership, strategic vision and unwavering integrity have not only propelled Deloitte to new heights but also made a tangible difference in the lives of many. David embodies the ethos of a leader who not only excels in his field but also uses his expertise to uplift communities and shape a better future.
“President Bush talked about ‘points of light’ being ordinary people doing extraordinary things every day,” said Jean Becker. “David Williams could be the poster child for that, although I’m not sure I’d call him an ordinary person. He’s exactly the kind of volunteer President Bush envisioned: somebody who would be all in. David gives his all, and President Bush would be so proud.”
Do you want to make a difference in your community like David? Find local volunteer opportunities.