The American Conference on Diversity is pleased to name Elizabeth Williams-Riley President and CEO, the organization’s first Black woman leader under the age of 40. During the organization’s 65-year history in New Jersey, Williams-Riley is the second female to serve as transitional President and CEO.
True to the American Conference on Diversity mission to value diversity, educate leaders, and promote inclusion and respect in schools, workplaces, and communities, Williams-Riley will be responsible for the development of long-term strategies of the organization.
Headquartered in one of the nation’s most racially and ethnically diverse states, the work of the American Conference on Diversity is critical to developing leaders locally and nationwide who will implement initiatives that address issues of diversity, inclusion, conflict management, cross-cultural communication, advocacy, and social justice. “Our diversity is an asset! My work at the American Conference on Diversity is purpose driven and I am committed to promoting the promise and power in valuing the diversity of NJ and effectively utilizing the rich diversity of our state to practice inclusion,” says Williams-Riley. “The power among us to create a legacy of inclusion begins with each individual taking responsibility to embrace our differences. Because we each have a role in shaping the culture of our workplaces, schools, and communities, we also have a shared responsibility in making sure that each individual is valued for his or her distinct characteristics and qualities that enhance the success of our state.”
After serving as a key executive leader for the National Conference for Community and Justice ( NCCJ) for 15 years, Williams-Riley brings unbridled energy, two decades of experience in diversity and inclusion, and a wealth of insight on human relations and diversity initiatives for both adults and youth. She has provided organizational-development guidance, strategic planning, board development, executive coaching, and program implementation expertise to agencies in the public-health sector. Williams-Riley’s community work includes designing and implementing conferences, trainings, interfaith events, community dialogue forums, cultural awareness events, and citywide celebrations for thousands of youth and adults from all segments of the community. She has also served as lead facilitator, panelist, and motivational speaker in a number of national initiatives, working with diversity professionals as well as business and other professionals to examine the impact of bias and prejudice in schools, workplaces, faith communities, and neighborhoods.
Williams-Riley is the former National Director for Programming for The National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ), founded in 1927 as The National Conference of Christians and Jews. She has also served as the Executive Director of the Greater New York Region of NCCJ.
She is a graduate of University of Central Florida with a BA in Advertising and Public Relations and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Williams-Riley has been featured on radio and television in numerous cities and recognized in news articles for her outstanding work with youth and adults to challenge stereotypes and create change agents. These include NBC, PBS, CW11 and Faith & Values Media in Central Florida and New York, NY.
She is proud to have worked with AARP, ADL, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Central Florida School Districts, City of Orlando Mayor’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, Cornell University Workplace Diversity Network Initiative, Federal Business Centers, Georgian Court University, GLSEN, Monmouth University, MTV, NAACP, National Underground Railroad, NJR, Simon Wiesenthal NY Tolerance Center, NYC Department of Education, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Prudential Financial Agency Distribution, PSEG, Rutgers University, University of Central Florida Department of Social Work, University of Michigan, and Walt Disney World, among others.