Jeff Williams, M.A., M.B.A.

Director, Community Data and Research Lab

Contact Jeff about projects and speaking opportunities.

Jeff Williams oversees many of our research and evaluation projects, and is available to speak on large-scale program implementation, data analysis, strategy and stakeholder communications, and financial and change management.


Jeff Williams joined the Johnson Center as the director of the Community Data and Research Lab (CDRL) in February 2020. In this role, he leads a team of researchers, evaluators, database experts, and web developers who provide insights into nonprofit and philanthropic organizations and activities. With expertise in operations, strategy, data analytics, and public policy, Jeff is passionate about connecting data to people to action. He oversees CDRL’s annual research agenda, as well as relationships with partner organizations and communities. Jeff also serves as a member of the Johnson Center’s leadership team.

Previously, Jeff served in executive leadership roles at a nonpartisan public policy firm, Public Sector Consultants, and at Michigan Saves, a nonprofit dedicated to making energy improvements easier. He currently serves on the boards of directors for Michigan Virtual, the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts, and the Capital Region Community Foundation. He is also a member of the Research Advisory Network of the National Center on Nonprofit Enterprise.

Jeff holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations from Michigan State University, a Master of Public Policy from the University of Minnesota, and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan. He holds professional certifications in project management (PMP) and information systems security (CISSP).

Related Articles
Tue November 30
Jeff Williams explains how traditional donor, nonprofit, and foundation practices are often rooted in misconceptions about the scale and breadth of the sector, leaving many nonprofits out to dry when it comes to grant eligibility.
Tue May 4
Drawing on multiple datasets, Community Insight is an online platform for displaying data about local communities, understanding community opportunities and needs, and targeting efforts for advancing equity.
Tue July 21
Analyzing data from nearly five million records, we explore how nonprofits fared under the Paycheck Protection Program and consider its impact on nonprofit employment.