David R. Williams is the Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and Professor of African and African American Studies and of Sociology at Harvard University. His first 6 years as a faculty member were at Yale University where he held appointments in both Sociology and Public Health. The next 14 years were at the University of Michigan where he was the Harold Cruse Collegiate Professor of Sociology, a Senior Research Scientist at the Institute of Social Research and a Professor of Epidemiology in the School of Public Health. Dr. Williams is a graduate of the University of the Southern Caribbean, Andrews University, Loma Linda University, and the University of Michigan. He is internationally recognized as a leading social scientist focused on social influences on health and he has been invited to keynote scientific conferences in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Australia, South America and across the United States. His research has enhanced our understanding of the complex ways in which race, racism, socioeconomic status, stress, health behaviors and religious involvement can affect physical and mental health. The Everyday Discrimination scale that he developed is currently one of the most widely used measures to assess perceived discrimination in health studies.
He is the author of more than 350 scholarly papers in scientific journals and edited collections and his research has appeared in leading journals in sociology, psychology, medicine, public health and epidemiology. He has served on the editorial board of 12 scientific journals and as a reviewer for over 60 journals. According to ISI Essential Science Indicators, he was one of the Top 10 Most Cited Researchers in the Social Sciences during the decade 1995 to 2005. The Journal of Black Issues in Higher Education, ranked him as the Most Cited Black Scholar in the Social Sciences in 2008. And Thomson Reuters ranked him, in 2014, as one of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds based on his scientific articles published between 2002 and 2012.