Alison Scott-Williams, a longtime leader in arts education, will join Lawrence University as its executive vice president and chief operating officer. She will begin in June and will be on campus intermittently before then.

Headshot of Alison Scott-Williams
Alison Scott-Williams

The role is new to Lawrence but not to higher education. Scott-Williams will serve as the university’s chief administrative/strategy officer with oversight of the development, stewardship, and operation of the delivery of campus services and the provision of programs to support campus growth and fiscal health. She will provide overall leadership for the university’s strategic services, guiding efforts to continually improve the delivery of operations and infrastructure while strengthening planning and collaboration. This position reports to the president.

“We are thrilled to bring someone with Alison’s experience, vision, and leadership skills to Lawrence in this vital position,” said President Laurie A. Carter. “She will play a significant role in supporting the goals of Lawrence University during this transformative time in higher education.”

Scott-Williams joins Lawrence from Studio in a School NYC (Studio NYC), where she has served as president since 2020. During her tenure at Studio NYC, Scott-Williams led a team of 30 staff and 100 teaching artists, facilitating art instruction and student art exhibitions for over 175 New York City Title 1 Public Schools serving more than 23,000 students. She spearheaded partnerships, co-led the New York City Public School Arts Committee, and directed an online initiative that shares more than 45 years of educational materials and videos with teachers, families, and students.

“As a proud native of the Midwest and a graduate of a liberal arts institution, I am enthusiastic about championing the goals and dreams of Lawrence University’s students, faculty, and staff,” Scott-Williams said.

Prior to her role at Studio NYC, Scott-Williams held the position of vice president for arts education at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), where she provided strategic leadership in arts education for the State of New Jersey. Earlier in her career, she held various administrative positions over a span of more than 14 years at The Juilliard School in New York City, including associate vice president for diversity and campus life.

Scott-Williams holds advanced degrees in voice performance and opera theater from the Manhattan School of Music and Oberlin Conservatory, respectively, as well as a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration from Baruch College. She received a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Oberlin. She has completed a leadership fellowship with American Express and recently earned a Certificate in Business Excellence from Columbia University Business School’s Senior Leadership Program for Not-for-Profit Professionals.