Dr. James H. Williams is UNESCO Chair in International Education for Development and Professor of International Education & International Affairs at the George Washington University (GW). He serves as Director of the International Education Program and is on the faculty of GW’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development and Elliott School of International Affairs, where he teaches graduate classes on education and development; education policy in developing countries; education of marginalized communities; education in emergencies; and international/comparative education.
His research interests lie in three areas: policies to improve education in low and middle-income countries; the effects of education on conflict and social cohesion; and predictors of socio-economic gradients. He is currently working on a longitudinal study of dropout in Cambodia, a series of edited books on textbooks and national identity, a comparative case study of higher education for development and social cohesion in Sri Lanka and Malaysia; and a study of US development assistance.
In addition to GW, Dr. Williams has taught at Ohio University, Athens, and J.F. Oberlin University, Tokyo.
He has worked at USAID as a AAAS Fellow and served as Editor of The FORUM for Advancing Basic Education and Literacy at the Harvard Institute for International Development.
He has been a visiting scholar at the Graduate School of International Development, Nagoya University and at the Center for International Cooperation in Education at Hiroshima University; as well as an invited professor at Kobe University’s Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies.
Dr. Williams has consulted with a number of development agencies including UNICEF, UNU-WIDER, UNESCO, World Bank, FAO, UNHCR, FHI 360, Education Development Center, American Institutes of Research, Creative Associates International, working on development assistance in over 20 countries.
He has co-authored or co-edited four books and over 40 journal articles/book chapters and monographs and guest edited/co-edited special issues of journals on three occasions, and is on the inaugural editorial board of the Journal of Education in Emergencies. His most recent book, (Re)Constructing Memory: School Textbooks and the Imagination of the Nation, has recently been published by Sense Publishers.