Ellen Williams is a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, where she is working at the interface of energy technology and policy. Before returning to the University in January of 2017, she was the Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency, ARPA-E, in the Department of Energy, which advances high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private-sector investment.
Prior to Senate confirmation for her role in ARPA-E, Dr.Williams was the Chief Scientist at BP (2010-2014), and a Distinguished University Professor in the Institute of Physical Science and Technology and the Department of Physics at the University of Maryland. At Maryland she founded and led the University’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Center from 1996 through 2009.
Dr. Williams has a distinguished history of professional service, including extensive work in providing technical advice to the U.S. government, primarily through the Departments of Energy and Defense. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a foreign member of the Royal Society (London), a fellow of the American Physical Society, American Vacuum Society and American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has been recognized by awards from the American Physical Society and the Materials Research Society.