Mary Alice Williams

Veteran Broadcaster, Women's Health Educator & Technology Pioneer

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About Mary Alice Williams

Mary Alice Williams is a highly acclaimed broadcast journalist and author whose investigative work on such topics as foreign policy, ethics, technology and health have made her a respected and recognized voice for public information.

As one of the primary architects of the first worldwide television network, Williams served as CNN’s principal anchor and Vice President in charge of the New York Bureau making her one of the highest ranking female executives in American television.  She was also anchor and correspondent for NBC News and a member of the NBC News team that won a national Emmy Award for its coverage of the fall of communism. She has been correspondent, writer anchor and host for programs on PBS, the Hallmark Channel, Lifetime Television and the Discovery Health Channel and a writer for the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric and reporter/anchor at WCBS Radio.  She is currently a Journalism professor at both Purchase, The State University of New York and Montclair State University.

Her presence as our emcee brought an energy to the program and helped make this event one of our best Annual Conferences.

- American Council of Life Insurers

Williams has been a frequent guest on Nightline, CNN’s Crossfire, The Tonight Show, and Murphy Brown.

In addition to her fourteen honorary doctorates for outstanding contributions to journalism and television, Williams has also won a National Emmy Award, two American Women in Radio and Television Gracie Allen awards, the American Medical Association’s Freddie Award, the Excellence in Media Angel Award, the International Film festival Award, the Donald McGannon Ethics in Media Award, the National Women’s Political Caucus’ Exceptional Merit Media Award, the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award, American Women in Radio and Television’s National Commendation Award, an ACE Award, Woman of the Year Award from Women in Cable, Women in Communications Headliner Award and the Matrix.  She also won the New Cinema Artists Award and was named Young Woman Achiever by the YWCA.  In 1980, she won the Young Achievers Award from the National Council of Women, an award she shared with the first woman astronaut Sally Ride.  She’s been inducted into the National Jesuit Honor Society, Alpha Sigma Nu.  And she is an honorary Admiral in the Nebraska Navy.

She’s also been a Trustee of Fordham University, the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, Broadcast Chair for Women in Communications and Mass Media Chair for the National Council of Women.  She is currently a board member of the Women in Communications Foundation and an advisor to the New York Foundling.

She is currently a professor of Journalism at Purchase College, the State University of New York.

Speech Topics

  • Quiet Triumphs: Overcoming the Shadow of Illness
  • The Modern Superwoman: Women, Work, and the American Family
  • The Promise and Peril of Advanced Technology

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