Research Fellow Teshanee Williams Joins the School of Government

Teshanee Williams visiting scholar

The School of Government is pleased to welcome Postdoctoral Research Fellow Teshanee Williams. She is a recipient of the Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity Fellowship. Over the next two academic years, she will work with the School of Government as a Research Fellow and will continue her research on topics like policy implementation and management of public sector and nonprofit partnerships.

“One of my career goals while I’m here at the School is to produce research that bridges the gap between theory and practice,” Williams said. “So, I want to carve out my research agenda and also build out research that informs and is informed by the public sector.” Williams also wants to further investigate the intersection between the public and nonprofit sectors.

Williams appreciates the School’s mission and work, especially as it informs government decisions and policies in North Carolina. She is excited to work alongside School faculty who are already focused on public policy implementation. Williams wants her research to be about much more than the creation of knowledge and would like to see her theoretical work put it into practical use in the real world.

One idea important to Williams is social capital; specifically, using social capital generated from existing relationships, trust, cooperation, shared identity (norms and values), and shared understanding to improve people’s economic situations. “I want to examine ways that research can improve the economy of small towns,” she said. “I’m from St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, so I understand the identity and struggles that smaller communities face.” Williams wants to tap into ways a researcher can be accepted into a community as a concerned, invested person instead of a ‘know-it-all outsider.’

"We are thrilled to have Dr. Williams join us," said faculty member Maureen Berner. "She brings critical knowledge about the intersection of governments and nonprofits, citizen engagement, policy formation, and overall public administration theory to the School. She also has been enthusiastically welcomed by our graduate students.  She is focused on making a positive difference in our state, and there is no better quality in a representative of the School."

Beyond her two years at the School, Williams sees herself remaining in an academic setting. And although she has previous teaching experience, she is also looking forward to spending more time in front of the classroom.

Williams earned her PhD and MPA in public administration from NC State University where she was an active researcher and instructor. Previous work experiences include her time as a research analyst for the North Carolina State Auditor’s Office and with the Office of Partnership and Economic Development at NC State University.