David M. Williams, Ph.D. is a scholar-practitioner of the science of improvement. He advises leaders and organizations worldwide on applying quality as a business strategy with a focus on building systemwide capability to achieve results. His work spans industries including government, healthcare, education, public health, academia, public safety, family business, and aerospace.
Dr. Williams serves the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and its customers as a senior improvement advisor. His work includes facilitating organizational transformation, developing systemwide improvement capability, and leading Breakthrough Series Improvement Collaboratives. Previously a member of the IHI leadership team, he led IHI’s global Improvement Science and Methods and Leadership work and served as a senior quality expert.
Dr. Williams developed IHI’s Chief Quality Officer Professional Development Program and is lead faculty. He also is a lead faculty for the IHI Improvement Advisor Professional Development Program and on the faculty for IHI Open School and the Harvardx Massive Open Online Course “Practical Improvement Science in Healthcare.” He served as adjunct faculty at The George Washington University School of Medicine.
Dr. Williams is a popular and engaging keynote speaker and facilitator at conferences and events worldwide. As a keynote or featured trainer, he connects with audiences and is known for making rigorous improvement practical and accessible.
Dr. Williams started his career as a volunteer firefighter and worked as a paramedic in cities across the United States. He is an expert in ambulance service system design and consults with EMS systems around the world.
Dr. Williams earned a B.S. in EMS Management and an M.S. in Emergency Health Services Management. He also earned a Ph.D. in Organizational Systems where his research focused on the obstacles to patient-centric EMS system design.
A native of western Massachusetts, Dr. Williams lives in Austin, Texas with his wife Gwen and their two children. He is an alum of the 2013 Leadership Austin Essential Class and served as Vice Chairman of the Board of CommUnityCare, the Federally Qualified Health Center serving Travis County, Texas.