Bill Williams served as Chief of the Center for Cryptologic History (CCH) at the National Security Agency (NSA), Fort Meade, Maryland, from October 2002 through October 2016, when he retired from government service. He is currently serving as a part-time consultant to CCH as a member of NSA’s Standby Active Reserves.
He joined the Society for History in the Federal Government after attending SHFG’s Holiday Party at the National Archives in 2002, and has been a member ever since. The historians and archivists he met through SHFG, and in the Intelligence Community, helped him understand the concept of “applied history,” and the positive impact a government history program can have on both its agency and the public. He was a member of the Society’s Executive Council from 2003-2004, and served as SHFG’s President from 2007-2008.
He was an officer in the United States Air Force for 30 years, serving initially as a radar weapons controller and then as an intelligence analyst. He also had two assignments at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs, where he became a Senior Associate Professor and the History Department’s Deputy Head. His military assignments included locations in the United States, Korea and Germany. He served at the Pentagon on the staff of the Secretary of the Air Force, and as the head of the National Military Joint Intelligence Center’s 24-hour Alert Center. He retired from the Air Force, as a Colonel, in October 2005.
Through a USAFA-sponsored program, he earned a Ph.D. in History at the University of Washington (Seattle) in 1989, which is where he had earlier received a Master’s Degree in History (1978) and an M.L.S. in Library Science (1979). He also earned Certification in Archives and Records Management Administration at Western Washington University (Bellingham) in 1979. He graduated magna cum laude as a History Major from Kenyon College (Gambier, Ohio) in 1971.
He has written one book, The Wilson Administration and the Shipbuilding Crisis of 1917: Steel Ships and Wooden Steamers (1992) and has published articles on American naval, maritime and aviation history in a variety of scholarly journals.
In 2017 he was presented the National Security Agency’s Civilian Meritorious Service Award.