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Edwin Williamson Is Elected Board Chairman at ACTA

April 9, 2019 by ACTA

WASHINGTON, DC—The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) announced that Edwin Williamson has been elected as the new chairman of its board of directors.

Mr. Williamson is a former chairman of the Board of Regents of The University of the South (Sewanee). In addition to his six-year term as a Regent, he has also served three terms as a University Trustee.  A graduate of Sewanee, he also holds an honorary Doctor of Civil Laws degree from Sewanee and a J.D. from NYU School of Law, where he was an editor of the Law Review. 

Widely known as an expert in public international law and national security issues, he served as the Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State from 1990 to 1993. He is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and the American Law Institute, and has served on the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law.

Before he retired as a long-time partner at the law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell, Mr. Williamson was engaged in a wide-ranging domestic and international financing and transactions practice, overseeing corporate governance issues, U.S. economic sanctions laws, ethics rules of government officials and the immunities of foreign sovereigns and international organizations.

Mr. Williamson has extensive experience serving on both corporate and philanthropic boards. His service includes the Executive Board of the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), where he was vice chairman, and the Executive Committee of the U.S. Council for International Business (USCIB).

Mr. Williamson, who joined ACTA’s board in 2017, succeeds Dr. Robert T. Lewit, who served as ACTA’s Board Chair since 2009.  ACTA president Michael Poliakoff observed:  “Dr. Lewit, with wisdom and grace, led ACTA’s board through a period of unprecedented growth. We are all profoundly in his debt. We are delighted to embrace Edwin Williamson’s leadership as ACTA extends its reach with the launch of major new initiatives to protect intellectual freedom on college campuses, promote greater transparency and accountability in higher education governance, and encourage institutions to pursue academic excellence.”

CONTACT: Doug Sprei, Director of Communications   (202) 467-0376


Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

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