Profile photo Willette Burham Williams

Willette S. Burnham-Williams, Ph.D.
Chief Equity Officer
Assistant Professor

The enterprise wide MUSC Office of Equity fully integrates the academic and health care delivery dimensions of our ongoing institutional diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work. This office is led by interim chief Dr. Willette Burnham-Williams, who is a member of President’s Council and the enterprise senior leadership team. Under Dr. Burnham-Williams’ leadership, the Office of Equity is charged with further elevating, empowering and prioritizing innovative infrastructure, programs and resources across the enterprise. As an institution, our integrated purpose will be to address racism, elevate diversity, equity and respect, and help assure that our workforce, students and leadership reflect the communities we serve. 

Willette S. Burnham-Williams, Ph.D., is an experienced senior leader in higher education administration and  developing strategic diversity initiatives and multi-faceted programs in small and large, public and private organizations.

Dr. Burnham-Williams became the interim chief equity officer for the enterprise in September 2020, having  joined MUSC in 2006, and serving as assistant professor and University Chief Diversity Officer since 2015. In 2017, she assumed the additional role of Title IX Coordinator and. Dr. Burnham-Williams is the senior strategist for diversity, equity and inclusion at MUSC. She spearheads major strategic goals and objectives for transforming the organization's culture of equity, inclusion and engagement.

Prior to joining the MUSC family Dr. Burnham-Williams’ she has held leadership positions at  Williamsburg Technical College, The Citadel Military College of SC, and The College of Charleston.  

She is a spokesperson on matters related to creating, enhancing andsustaining an inclusive organization and campus environment and is committed to partnering with leaders to build, foster and integrate comprehensive and intentional professional practices of equity and inclusion.

Dr. Burnham-Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts from Trinity College,Hartford, Connecticut and a Master of Education and Doctor of Philosophyin Educational Administration from the University of South Carolina. Shecompleted 2 post-doctorate certificate programs: Health Care ExecutiveLeadership in Diversity and Inclusion from Georgetown University,Washington, DC and Harvard University’s Summer Institute for EducationalManagement (IEM). Additionally, she has participated in state and nationalwomen’s leadership development forums hosted by the American Councilon Education (ACE) and South Carolina Women in Higher Education (SCWHE).

Dr. Burnham-Williams currently serves on the national Advisory Board for Women in Healthcare (WIH), the Board of Directors for the SC Industry Liaison Group (SCILG), the Advisory Committee for Explore Charleston Heart for Hospitality and is a member of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE).