Dr. Darlene Williams

Dr. Darlene Williams is an executive and community leader, agent of change, author, professor, and unwavering advocate for issues related to social injustice, inequity, disparities and the community.  She currently serves as the founding Chief Program Officer at Women in Need (Win) overseeing Win’s extensive programmatic portfolio of transitional homeless shelters and supportive housing facilities across New York City as well as their associated programs and mental health services. Win’s mission of transforming the lives of NYC homeless women and children offers safe housing and critical services that enhance independence through mental health support, financial literacy, income building services, child care, recreation, summer camp, and afterschool programs for all clients.

Dr. Williams formerly served as the Assistant Commissioner at the NYC Department of Veterans Services and was responsible for direct development, implementation, and management of VetsThriveNYC, the veteran-specific component to the First Lady of NYC’s groundbreaking ThriveNYC mental health program.  She also held progressively responsible executive positions at the NYC Administration for Children's Services  and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene where she focused on targeted programs and improvements in health status for NYC's most high need neighborhoods to ensure quality care, the reduction of health disparities and addressing the fundamental factors that impact spiritual, emotional, environmental, and economic wellness. Prior to her roles in NYC government, Dr. Williams served in various positions in the nonprofit sector related to the improvement of livability, wellness, and health for individuals in the homeless population, substance abuse, domestic violence, and therapeutic foster care. 

In 2014, Dr. Williams published her first faith-based book, FPS: Freedom Positioning System, which served as a spiritual roadmap to mental health wellness.  She also serves as an Associate Adjunct Professor at Long Island University Brooklyn Campus in the School of Health Professions.

Dr. Williams is active in her community.  She participates in the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives Mentoring Day, and the National Association of Black Military Women. She serves on board of the Community Coalition on Mental Health, The First Lady of New York City’s ThriveNYC Mental Health Advisory Board, and Black Agency Executives. She earned her Doctorate of Philosophy in Public Policy & Administration from Walden University, her Master's Degree in Public Administration from Metropolitan College of NY, and her Bachelor of Arts in Human Services from Audrey Cohen College.