Katara Williams Named Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement & External Relations at the SU Ag Center

Baton Rouge, La. – Katara Williams, Ph.D., has been appointed the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement and External Relations at the Southern University Ag Center. The appointment was approved by the Southern University Board of Supervisors during its May 20, 2022 board meeting.


Williams, who currently serves as the Chief of Staff and Executive Director for Strategic Initiatives at the Southern University and A&M College System, will fill the position on July 1, 2022.


“Dr. Katara A. Williams is an excellent addition to an already outstanding executive team at the Southern University Ag Center,” said Dr. Orlando F. McMeans, Chancellor of the SU Ag Center and Dean of the College of Ag. “Her experiences will greatly contribute to advancing the research, teaching, and extension missions in the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences and the Ag Center.  As Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement and External Relations, Dr. Williams is poised to elevate the effectiveness and intentionality of our communications, marketing, development, governmental affairs, and community relation functions of the Ag Center,” added Dr. McMeans.


As the VC for Institutional Advancement and External Relations, Williams will provide leadership and oversight on strategy development to reach, influence, and collaborate with the university's internal and external stakeholders; supervise the units within the respective portfolio; and represent the SU Ag Center and SU College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences throughout the state and nation to advance the Ag Center and College's mission, vision, and strategic initiatives.


Katara brings over 20 years of experience in the areas of public relations and policy, administration leadership, management and engagement of internal and external stakeholders, strategic planning, legislative matters, and crisis management.


Before returning to Southern, Williams served as the Executive Director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, Associate Commissioner of Public Affairs and Advisor to the Council of Student Body Presidents at the Louisiana Board of Regents, Manager of Stakeholder Relations for the Louisiana Department of Education, Director of Media Relations for the Southern University System, and Public Relations Specialist and Executive Assistant to the Chancellor for the Southern University Ag Center.


She currently leads the inaugural class of the Southern University Presidential Fellows, the System COVID-19 Task Force, is a member of the Board of Regents’ Public Sector COVID Vaccine Advisory Council, and serves as a member of the Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force.


In 2020, Katara was recognized by the HBCU Campaign as one of 10 HBCU alumni to watch.


Williams earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Mass Communications, a Master’s of Arts in Public Relations, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy, all from Southern University and A &M College.





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