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Leah Williams

WestEd General Counsel Leah Williams manages the agency’s Legal Department. She works closely with the executive team and with program and department leadership on legal regulatory and compliance matters in all areas, including contracts, labor and employment, finance and accounting, property and facilities, data privacy, and data integrity.

Williams is responsible for anticipating and guarding against legal and regulatory risks for WestEd. She represents the agency before legal, regulatory, and compliance authorities, and she develops and recommends agency response and strategy in litigation, investigations, and administrative proceedings.

She is responsible for managing outside counsel on all matters, and for managing internal and external investigations. Also, under her leadership, the Legal Department oversees all intellectual property matters, including copyrights, trademarks, and risk-management planning.

Williams is an accomplished legal, regulatory, and public affairs expert. Prior to joining WestEd, she served as CEO of a public affairs firm with national clients in finance, telecommunications, and education and served as the Western Regional Director of a Washington, DC–based public affairs firm.

She clerked for the Honorable Claudia Wilken of the United States District Court, Northern District of California, and externed for the Honorable Benjamin Aranda of the Los Angeles Superior Court. Williams is admitted to practice law in California.

Williams serves on the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Commission, a regional accrediting agency serving a diverse membership of public and private higher education institutions throughout California, Hawaii, and the Pacific as well as a limited number of institutions outside the United States.

She also serves on the Board of Directors of 826 National, which provides strategic leadership, administration, and other resources to ensure the success of its network of seven writing and tutoring centers.

Williams received a BA in comparative culture from the University of California, Irvine, and a JD from Stanford Law School. She also has an MDE certificate from the University of California, Los Angeles, Anderson School of Business.