Release Date: July 28,2021

Akron City Council Welcomes Dr. Joan M. Williams as Council Chief of Staff

Akron, Ohio, July 28, 2021 — Today, Akron City Council announces that as of Monday, July 26, 2021, Dr. Joan M. Williams has assumed the newly created position of Chief of Staff to the Council. In her role, Joan will be responsible for planning, directing, and coordinating the overall operation of the Office of the President and Council leadership. She will serve as a liaison between the Office of the Council President and the Office of the Mayor, other departments of the City, and federal, state, and local government offices as appropriate.

“We are excited about the creation of the new Chief of Staff position, and the opportunity it affords City Council to raise the bar in the provision of constituent services” said Akron City Council President Margo Sommerville. “We want to increase our level of responsiveness to the concerns of the residents of Akron, and encourage a greater level of community engagement in governance of our great city.”

Bringing on a Chief of Staff will help City Council increase transparency, allow for more proactive communication with constituents, and improve customer service overall. Dr. Williams will manage official media relations for the Office of the President and work closely with the Clerk of Council on administrative matters.

Williams is no stranger to employing outreach strategies designed to increase awareness, expand access, and foster greater community connectivity. She previously served as the Summit County Outreach Coordinator for the 11th Congressional District of Ohio under the leadership of the former Congresswoman, now Secretary of HUD, Marcia L. Fudge. She was formerly an executive director at a NYC non-profit providing social, mental health and emergency food services. Williams has over 30 years of experience in building sustainable partnerships between government, the non-profit sector and community stakeholders. She holds a Doctorate Degree and Master’s Degrees in both Social Work and Education. She is also an Ordained Minister serving at the House of the Lord church in Akron.

“I’m absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to assist City Council in advancing its agenda and charting the way forward in its service to the residents of Akron. In spite of the challenges of our time, wonderful things are happening in the City of Akron and even more is yet to come,” said Williams.