Trustee Daniel Williams, EdD is the President and CEO of the West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology (WMCAT). He was appointed to the open seat on GRCC's board, formerly held by the extraordinary Trustee Deb Bailey.


A leader in urban education and facilitator in design thinking, Daniel works to advance equity in education and workforce development. Prior to WMCAT, he served as co-founder and principal of Grand Rapids University Prep Academy, the first Centers of Innovation School in Grand Rapids Public Schools. While at UPrep, Daniel led his team to achieving a graduation rate of more than 90 percent and a college acceptance rate of 100 percent each year. He was also named “Principal of the Year” by Grand Rapids Public Schools for 2014-15.

At WMCAT, Daniel works to bring equity and innovation to West Michigan, the State of Michigan and now on a national level. He presents on best practices in two-generation family supports at The Aspen Institute’s Annual Think XChange Conference and sits on their ASCEND two-generation post-secondary work group. Daniel has also been trained in design thinking and presents throughout the country.

Daniel’s community work around racial equity and opportunity contributes to WMCAT’s work to provide equitable access to social and economic opportunity, as well as the growth and progress of West Michigan. He works at systems levels as a member of the Grand Rapids Racial Equity Initiative, Co-Chair of the 4th-12th Work Group with KConnect, member of a National Equity Project cohort, and a member of the Diversity Council for Varnum. In the community Daniel sits on the boards for the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, Start Garden, and Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park.

In 2019, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer appointed him as vice-chairperson of the MI-STEM Council. In 2018, Daniel was one of seven leaders appointed by then-Governor Rick Snyder to join the Michigan Consortium of Advanced Networks. In 2019, he was recognized with the Trust Award from the Better Business Bureau of West Michigan. And in 2017 he was honored with the Phyllis Scott Activist Award by the Woodrick Center for Diversity at Grand Rapids Community College – one of the annual Giants Awards presented in the region.

Daniel has a Doctorate in Education for Interdisciplinary Leadership from Creighton University, he received his Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Eastern Michigan University and his Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from University of Iowa.