Paul Williams’ diversified experience brings valuable insights to clients having matters at the intersections of law, finance and government. With a concentration of his work in real estate, public/private partnerships and Opportunity Zone Fund projects, Paul also provides strategic advice to clients regarding New York State economic development and diversity and inclusion programs.
Previously, Paul was chief legislative counsel to the New York State Assembly Banks Committee, co-founder of Wood, Williams, Rafalsky & Harris, a prominent minority-owned bond counsel and corporate law firm, a partner in the international law firm of Bryan Cave, LLP and an officer and investor in a boutique Wall Street investment bank. In addition, throughout his career, Paul has been a thought leader, promoting greater diversity and inclusion in business.
Paul was the first African American to be named as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY). Appointed first by Gov. David A. Paterson, Paul was re-appointed in 2010 by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. In this position, Paul successfully marketed bond issues exceeding $30 billion and oversaw major construction projects throughout New York State, exceeding total expenditures of $6 billion.
When Gov. Paterson issued Executive Order No. 10, establishing the Task Force to Increase Participation of MWBE Firms in Debt Issuances, he appointed Paul to serve as its Chair. Once the far-ranging practices and policies developed by the Task Force under Paul’s leadership were implemented, MWBE participation across all procurements quadrupled.
Paul’s civic experience includes serving as President of One Hundred Black Men and launching the Eagle Academy for Young Men of Color, an innovative model in public education that includes six academies and a national platform, the Eagle Institute, to enhance learning and boost academic outcomes for at-risk youth across the country.
Paul is a graduate of Yale University (BA), Columbia University School of Law (JD) and spent a year of study abroad at the American University in Cairo, Egypt.