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Janet Williams named VP for finance and administration at Elon University


Following a national search, Janet L. Williams, vice president for finance at Wake Forest University, has been named vice president for finance and administration at Elon University.

Williams joined Elon in mid-April, serving on the university’s senior staff and succeeding interim vice president Susan Kirkland, who returns to her position as associate vice president for business and finance.

Janet L. Williams

Williams brings to Elon nine years of experience in higher education and 29 years of experience in business and industry. Since 2018 she has led Wake Forest’s business and finance units, including accounting, student financial services, campus financial services, financial information systems, procurement and payment services, risk services, financial statement preparation, tax, payroll, treasury services and investments. She is a member of the university’s steering committee for the implementation of Workday, an enterprise-level financial management, human capital management and planning software system.

She has provided support and financial expertise to the Wake Forest University board of trustees and several committees. She has also been involved with students, co-leading the Community-Based Global Learning Program in Ecuador, which created local partnerships and provided learning opportunities for first-generation students.

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Prior to joining Wake Forest, Williams served two years at Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York, where she was interim vice president for finance and administration and also served as the college’s controller. There she served as the college’s chief financial officer and treasurer and oversaw information technology programs, physical facilities, auxiliary services and financial services.

Williams began her work in higher education by serving four years at Cornell University Ithaca, New York, where she was administrative director for the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

Prior to her work in higher education, Williams served in business and industry for 29 years in New York and Texas. She held several senior-level positions during seven years of work with Lockheed Martin Corporation, Owego, New York. She also spent six years as a business controller for Corning, Inc., Corning, New York.

Williams spent 14 years with Kraft Foods, Inc., based in Campbell, New York, and Garland, Texas, serving as plant controller. She began her career in 1983 as a staff auditor with the Ernst and Young CPA firm in Dallas.

Williams has a master of business administration (MBA) degree in production operations management from the University of North Texas, Denton, and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Texas, Austin. She is a member of the CPA societies in North Carolina and New York.

Throughout her career, Williams has been an active volunteer, serving with several community organizations in North Carolina and New York, including the Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County in Winston-Salem, the Children’s Home in Binghamton, the Economic Opportunity Program/Community Action Agency in Elmira and the Friendship Baptist Church Missions Ministry in Corning. She has led humanitarian missions to Haiti, Jamaica and Belize, and participated in missions to Liberia and Ghana, among other countries.

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