(This is one of 20 profiles on the recipients selected by an anonymous committee out of an extensive list of nominees for the 2023 Rising Lincoln Leader Award. The Lincoln Parish Journal thanks Mayor Ronny Walker and the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce for their support of this award. We would like to thank Kevin Hawkins at HawkinsPhoto.com for the headshots).
Name: Adarian D. Williams
Employer: Grambling State University
Title: Deputy Chief of Staff
How long have you lived in Lincoln Parish: 25 years
Civic and Volunteer Organizations
- Ex-Officio Member, Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce
- Board Member, Ruston-Lincoln Convention & Visitors Bureau
- Former Board Member, North Louisiana Farmer’s Market
- Choir Member, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Grambling, LA
- Grambling University National Alumni Association
- LifeLoyal Member, Phi Mu Alpha Fraternity of America, Inc.
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Grambling Chapter
- Grambling Laboratory High School Alumni Association
- Board Member, United Way of Northeast Louisiana
- Experience in U.S. Politics: I gained valuable political experience through internships with the United States Congress and as an Organizing Fellow for the U.S. Presidential Campaign of Joseph R. Biden. My career path in Washington, D.C. has led me to work in the office of former Congressman Cedric Richmond, who served as President Biden’s Senior Advisor. Additionally, I served as the Senior Manager of Congressional Relations for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc.
- Return Home to Support My Alma Mater: Currently, I serve as Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of the President at Grambling State University, where I continue to make a difference in higher education administration. As an undergraduate student, I had the honor of serving as the Student Government Association President for two consecutive terms, leading and representing the student body with dedication and effectiveness. I also had the privilege of being selected as the Student Member to the Louisiana Board of Regents, where I advocated for the interests of Louisiana’s publicly funded institutions of higher learning, highlighting my commitment to advancing education.
- Empowering Youth and Adults in Our Community: Beyond my professional roles, I am committed to empowering youth and adults in our community. Through motivational speaking, mentorship programs, community outreach initiatives, and educational workshops, I strive to inspire and uplift individuals of all ages, helping them unlock their full potential and achieve their goals.
- Talents in Performing Arts: Throughout my journey, I have had the incredible opportunity to showcase my talents in the performing arts. I have portrayed highly acclaimed roles in over fifteen theatrical productions and performed in diverse musical settings, including the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Louisiana Senator Patrick O. Jefferson on Adarian Williams: “Mr. Adarian Williams is without a doubt one of this area’s and our nation’s best. He has a heart for people and the intelligence to match. He is wise beyond his years and on a mission to scale the heights of life. I am thankful that I have been privileged to witness his flight, and it’s just beginning.”
Q&A with Adarian Williams
What makes Lincoln Parish special? Lincoln Parish holds a special place in my heart because it embodies the essence of a close-knit community and is strengthening the values of unity, resilience, and growth. What sets Lincoln Parish apart is its unique combination of family, history, culture, and natural beauty. From the picturesque landscapes and charming towns to the warm-hearted residents, every aspect of our parish exudes a sense of belonging and creates an environment where people can thrive. Whether it’s attending local events that celebrate our heritage, exploring the parks and trails, or engaging in community-driven initiatives, there’s a growing spirit of togetherness that makes Lincoln Parish truly special. While acknowledging the exceptional qualities of my home parish, we recognize the areas for improvement that exist. However, it is through our collective efforts and a commitment to continuous growth that we can address these imperfections and create an even brighter Lincoln Parish for future generations.
How do you see your role in improving Lincoln Parish? I consider it both a responsibility and a privilege to actively contribute to the improvement of Lincoln Parish. Guided by my faith, I see my role as not just a physical and tangible contributor, but also a spiritual one. Matthew 25:40 says, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” This powerful scripture serves as a reminder of the inherent worth and value of every individual in our community. It compels me to approach my role with compassion, empathy, and a deep sense of service. Whether it be actively listening to the needs and aspirations of fellow residents, volunteering my time and skills, supporting local businesses, participating in local initiatives, and encouraging sustainable development, I aim to contribute to the growth and well-being of Lincoln Parish. I see myself as a catalyst for progress, working alongside others to grow a community that empowers individuals, and addresses the challenges we face head-on.
Who has played a pivotal role in your professional development and why? Throughout my professional journey, several individuals have played pivotal roles in shaping my development. However, one person stands out for their unwavering support and mentorship – Mr. Richard “Rick” Gallot, Jr. His guidance, expertise, and belief in my potential have been instrumental in my growth as a servant-leader. He has consistently challenged me to push the boundaries of my capabilities, provided invaluable advice, and instilled in me the importance of paying it forward and empowering others on their own journeys. I am grateful for his mentorship, as it has enabled me to develop the skills, confidence, and resilience necessary for success.