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Kimberly J. Williams

Kimberly J. Williams
Chief Innovation Officer
Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County
Kimberly J. Williams has one of the most interesting jobs around. As the chief innovation officer at METRO’s in-house “idea factory,” her job is to scout out the latest and greatest developments in transportation and figure out how to make them work for the Houston area. METRO’s Office of Innovation successfully secured Texas as a recognized autonomous-vehicle proving ground. That means that driverless technology is ready to be tested and refined on our high-occupancy vehicle lanes. METRO recently conducted a pilot project that evaluated electric buses, and leads Team Houston in the Texas Innovation Alliance, a program in which cities across the state and the nation tackle mobility challenges. In 2017, METRO hosted the second Texas Mobility Summit, showcasing transit solutions that, not long ago, seemed like the stuff of science fiction. There’s a reason Williams is so driven to make things happen - she grew up in an automotive family in Detroit. “The market share of the Big Three fell almost 50 percent between 1965 and 2010,” she says. “Living in that environment taught me the future does not wait for you to get ready. You either get ready for it, or you cease to exist.” Williams is an attorney by training, with extensive experience in law, academia, city and state government affairs, and transportation. Her previous professional positions have taken her to California, Washington, D.C. and Beijing. She has used mass transit in dozens of major cities in and out of the United States. She’s seen what works, what doesn’t work, and what makes transit easy and pleasurable to use. Williams is a committed Houstonian and METRO rider. She regularly uses the transit system, enjoys the murals and public art on display in the transit centers, and appreciates the area’s diversity. She is active in her community and is the proud mother of daughter MacKenzie. She earned her J.D. from Wayne State Law School, Detroit, Michigan, and her B.A. from Howard University, Washington, D.C. Past Positions • METRO, Deputy Chief Procurement Officer • METRO, Chief Administration Officer • City of Houston, City Attorney • Texas Southern University, Vice President of External Relations • International Labor Office of Beijing, People’s Republic of China • Legislative Attorney, Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress • Legislative Aide to U.S. Representative Barbara Rose Collins (ret.) Member of the House Public Works and Transportation Committee
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