Treby Williams, Class of 1984, who has worked at Princeton since 2005, will conclude her service as executive vice president on June 30. Williams will serve as senior adviser to the University president for one year before retiring from Princeton.
By Emily Aronson, Office of Communications
Williams is Princeton’s chief administrative officer, providing overall leadership for the University’s campus planning, operations and infrastructure. She has led the stewardship and long-term development of Princeton’s physical campus, improved delivery of University operations and services, and overseen programs and resources that support and enhance the experiences of employees and students.
Reporting to President Christopher L. Eisgruber, Williams has worked directly with the University’s senior officers to oversee Princeton’s financial, capital and operational resources, and to support the health, safety and well-being of the students, faculty and staff who live, learn and work on campus.
“Treby Williams has excelled at every dimension of a very demanding job,” Eisgruber said. “She has been a peerless and beloved captain for her talented administrative team, a valued partner to cabinet colleagues and to me, and a first-rate strategic thinker.”
Eisgruber continued: “Through superb leadership and skillful management, Treby has shaped a visionary campus plan, facilitated its implementation, overseen critical aspects of our response to an historic pandemic, and made Princeton a more welcoming place for people of all backgrounds. She has done all this and more with energy, integrity, good humor and a profound commitment to the values and the people of this University.”
Williams said it has been an honor to serve as executive vice president for the last decade.
“The importance of the University’s mission to the nation and the world, and my spectacular colleagues have inspired me every day,” Williams said. “As executive vice president, it has been a privilege to play a leadership role in planning our campus’ future and advancing initiatives that enable students’ service experiences, focus on the well-being of students, faculty and staff, and support Princeton’s teaching and research aspirations.”
Eisgruber will oversee an international search for the next executive vice president with assistance from the firm Spencer Stuart. The goal is for the position to be filled by this summer.
Developing the campus for Princeton’s future
As executive vice president, Williams oversaw the creation of Princeton’s 2026 Campus Plan, which represents the most ambitious and comprehensive planning process in University history. The plan developed a framework for the long-term development of Princeton’s physical campus in support of the University’s teaching and research mission.
As part of this work, Williams leads the implementation of Princeton’s most recent capital plan, which represents the largest expansion of University facilities and includes the Lake Campus Development. Capital projects also include new buildings to enable the expansion of the undergraduate student body, such as the Yeh College and New College West projects, and new facilities for cutting-edge research in engineering and the environmental sciences.
While planning the campus expansion, Williams also provided leadership in setting newly ambitious campus sustainability goals. The University’s Sustainability Action Plan calls for campus carbon neutrality by 2046 and includes significant upgrades and changes to campus energy systems, among other steps.
Strengthening University services, operations and programs
During her tenure, Williams has led significant projects that are integral to the experiences of students, faculty and staff on campus today and well into the future.
Her areas of responsibility include: administrative planning; audit and compliance; campus life; environmental health and safety; facilities; human resources; investigations unit; public safety; and university services. She oversees a staff of more than 2,200 within these units.
Williams is an active leader in the University’s ongoing commitments to service and to diversity, equity and inclusion through various efforts. She provided leadership to the development of Service Focus and the Learning and Education through Service (LENS) initiatives to expand and enhance students’ abilities to participate in public service experiences while at Princeton.
She co-chaired the committee to diversify campus iconography and art, drove progress to increase the diversity of suppliers and vendors who provide goods and services for the University through the Office of Finance and Treasury’s Supplier Diversity Plan, and created the Nassau Fellows program for early-career staff at Princeton to learn about professional pathways in higher education.
Williams has been committed to strengthening how essential services and programs are delivered to the University community, from overseeing the Department of Public Safety’s focus on community caretaking and police officer professionalism and transforming the University’s annual enterprise risk management process, to partnering with Human Resources and colleagues across campus to support the development of employee benefit programs and professional development opportunities.
As executive vice president, Williams also worked with other senior leaders to manage the University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She oversaw critical operational aspects of that response intersecting with environmental health and safety, health services, on-campus services for students, and the development of health and safety policies for employees and students during the pandemic.
In addition, Williams leads cabinet-level University committees focused on University operations, environmental safety, enterprise risk management and compliance.
“I have learned continuously from my extraordinary colleagues, staff and students,” Williams said. “I also treasure my experience of having mentored early-career colleagues who have gone on to senior leadership roles at the University.”
She added: “The talent of Princeton’s faculty, staff and students is astounding and I look forward to seeing their positive impacts on national and global challenges in the years to come.”
Prior to her appointment as executive vice president in November 2013, Williams worked in the Office of the Executive Vice President as the director of planning and administration, and then as assistant vice president for safety and administrative planning, acting as chief of staff to the executive vice president. Before joining the Office of the Executive Vice President, she was director of Princeton’s Office of Development Priorities.
Before joining the University, Williams was an assistant U.S. attorney in the southern district of New York and the district of New Jersey from 1992 to 2004, and worked as an attorney for three years for Coudert Brothers in London and New York.
Williams serves on the College of New Jersey Board of Trustees, the New York University School of Law Board of Trustees, the Greater Trenton Board of Directors, and is a trustee emerita of Princeton Day School, where she chaired its Board of Trustees. She earned her bachelor’s degree in history from Princeton and a law degree from New York University.