Williams succeeds Jed Bullard, chairman of the Lexington, KY-based J.D. Bullard Company, a leading manufacturer of personal protective equipment, to a two year term.
In his more than 30 years at New Brunswick, N.J.-based Johnson & Johnson, Williams has gained international recognition as a leader and innovator in safety and health practices and a reputation for achieving business results through leadership, accountability, organizational development and innovation through technology.
“I am pleased to have Ather Williams, Jr., as our new board chair,” said Alan C. McMillan, president and CEO of NSC. “I am certain that his vast experience and leadership in global safety strategies will accelerate the council’s efforts to extend our reach and influence across the nation and throughout the world.”
Williams has an extensive background in developing and leading manufacturing operations as well as global safety strategies and processes. His responsibilities at J&J include Global Workplace Safety, Global Fleet Safety, Health & Wellness, and Corporate Medical.
"It is indeed an honor to be following in the footsteps of this country’s great leaders in safety and health and it is a privilege to be joining this elite group of individuals who are so fiercely committed to advancing the council’s mission,” Williams said.
Upon accepting the NSC chairmanship, Williams cited key accomplishments achieved under Bullard’s leadership including expansion of the council’s role in advancing elderly falls legislation and the corporate culture of safety for employees both on and off-the-job. “But most important,” Williams said, “You have helped lead and guide the council to its strongest bottom line in decades.
“I accept the responsibility for leadership of the National Safety Council as we continue our emphasis on improved safety in the workplace and advancing the safety and health of workers and their families on and off-the-job in our homes and communities.”
Williams has been active within NSC for more than 10 years, initially as an international representative. He was elected chairman of the Board of Trustees in 2002, and from 2003 to 2005 served as vice chairman of NSC's Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors is the council's principal governance body and provides oversight over fiduciary and strategic affairs.
The National Safety Council (nsc.org) saves lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads through leadership, research, education and advocacy.