Dean Williams

Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy
Center for Public Leadership
Office Address
Mailing Address
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Mailbox 124
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-496-8506
Fax: 617-496-3337
Dean Williams


Dean Williams, Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, teaches and conducts research on adaptive leadership and change. As a faculty member, he is based at the Center for Public Leadership. He serves as the faculty chair of the executive education program: Global Change Agents: Leading with Commitment, Creativity and Courageand runs the World Leaders Interview Project. He is originally from Geelong, Australia.

He has worked on major change initiatives in various parts of the world. For five years he served as the Chief Advisor to the President of Madagascar, assisting in the faciliation of an innovative process of rapid national development. For two years he was the lead consultant to the government of Queensland, Australia, in orchestrating a complete reform of the educational system. Formerly, he was a consultant to the Government of Brunei in upgrading its civil service. He has also served as a consultant with the Singapore government's National Productivity Board, and is the director of the Social Leadership Singapore program.

He has done a significant amount of advising to the Government of East Timor, and most recently to the Government of Nigeria. He has led a number of long-term change initiatives in companies in Australia, the United States, and Asia, and conducted research on leadership andsocial changein Japan, Madagascar and Borneo.

He is the author of Real Leadership: Helping People and Organizations Face Their Toughest Challenges (Berrett-Koehler, 2005).



  • MLD-202 Exercising Leadership: A Cross-Cultural and International Perspective


For a complete list of faculty citations from 2001 - present, please visit the Harvard Kennedy School Research Report Online.

Selected Publication Citations:

  • Academic Journal/Scholarly Articles
    • Williams, Dean. "Leadership in a Changing World: From Afghanistan to East Timor, the Challenges are Great." Leadership 2.1 (Spring 2002).
  • Book Chapters
    • Sinder, Riley, and Dean Williams. "Leadership Styles." Clinical Laboratory Management. Ed. Lynne S. Garcia. ASM Press, 2004.
    • Sinder, Riley, and Dean Williams. "Employee Needs." Clinical Laboratory Management. Ed. Lynne S. Garcia. ASM Press, 2004.
  • Books
    • Williams, Dean. Real Leadership: Helping People and Organizations Face Their Toughest Challenges. Berrett-Koehler, 2005.
  • Research Papers/Reports
    • Williams, Dean. “Leading in Complex Political Environments: What We Are Learning From Superintendents of Education.” CPL Working Paper Series, 2004.