Lori Williams is LSU’s Deputy Director of Athletics for Leadership and Strategy. She provides oversight for athletics human resources; diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI); compliance; Title IX; and student conduct. She also serves as the primary liaison to the Division of Inclusion, Civil Rights and Title IX; Office of General Counsel; Office of the Board of Supervisors; and Office of Student Advocacy and Accountability. Additionally, Williams serves as the Sport Administrator for the Women’s Basketball and Men’s/Women’s Cross Country and Track & Field programs. Williams possesses more than 25 years of industry experience and proven leadership guiding organizations through transformational change.
She most recently worked as the Associate Vice President for Operations & Chief Human Resources Officer at Grambling State University. At Grambling, Williams provided executive level leadership of the University’s strategic investment in talent acquisition, personnel training, and organizational transformation. Williams successfully reorganized operational units resulting in greater efficiencies and improved morale. Grambling achieved significant improvements across multiple state compliance metrics through Williams’ development and implementation of innovative systems and processes.
Prior to her tenure at Grambling, Williams served as the Senior Associate Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator at Texas A&M University. After Williams assumed leadership of DEI, the department was recognized three consecutive years for its DEI programming and practices. Williams was instrumental in developing hiring and onboarding procedures still in place today. In addition, she oversaw student-athlete services, which included hiring and supporting key team members who reimagined and revitalized the unit. Williams worked closely with the Office of Risk Management to identify and mitigate risk exposures within the department. Before joining the athletics department, Williams served as the university’s first full-time Title IX Coordinator. In this role, Williams interpreted regulations and led the drafting and implementation of university rules and processes intended to increase prevention and education and ensure accurate reporting and handling of cases.
Williams practiced law for a number of years at a boutique law firm and quickly rose through the ranks as she assumed increasing levels of responsibility. In her final role, as Vice President and Partner, Williams assisted clients with higher education, intercollegiate athletics, Title IX, and risk management matters.
Williams was formerly the Associate Athletics Director for Risk Management at the University of Kansas. There, she was responsible for creating a sustainable risk management program and overseeing the compliance and IT units. She also led the department’s diversity and inclusion initiatives for staff and coaches. This was all made possible due to the leadership experience gained at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) where she served as a Director of Membership Services.
At the NCAA, Williams led the feasibility study which precipitated the establishment of the NCAA Eligibility Center and was later named the Director of Academic Certification and Review. Prior to her stint with the NCAA Eligibility Center, Williams had an illustrious career as an investigator with Enforcement Services.
Licensed to practice law in the state of Texas, Williams was the Assistant Director of Compliance and Legal Assistant at the Big 12 Conference and a former compliance intern at Texas Tech University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration at Baylor University and her Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Texas Tech University School of Law. Williams has also earned an associate of risk management designation. She is a member of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education and was elected to serve as the inaugural secretary of the Louisiana chapter (LADOHE). Williams is a graduate of the Dr. Charles Whitcomb Leadership Institute and is a life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.