Jim Williams


James E. (Jim) Williams is a veteran networker. He recently passed on the reigns of leadership for LEARN, the Lonestar Education And Research Network where he was the founding Executive Director and CEO. LEARN is an initiative of over 30 Texas institutions and organizations that are working together to build next generation networking for higher education, research and health science community. Jim was formerly the Director of Policy Analysis and Government Relations for EDUCAUSE, an association of over 1,700 colleges and universities with a mission to help shape and enable transformational changes in higher education through information technology. Jim provided a networking vision and leadership for the broad research and education community and helped guide EDUCAUSE’s policy directions in Washington. He was the senior staff member to the EDUCAUSE Net@EDU group of Higher Education’s most influential CIOs and network executives. He was a frequent speaker and organizer for a variety of regional, national and international fora. While at EDUCAUSE, he initiated and was a Principal Investigator for a wide range of National Science Foundation funded projects including exploring advanced networking alternatives for smaller institutions, voice over IP strategic analysis, and emerging PKI (public key infrastructure) technologies. He also provided guidance and assistance for StateNets, a working group of Net@EDU composed of executives and senior staff of state-wide network organizations. Prior to the formation of EDUCAUSE, Jim was Executive Director of the Federation of American Research Networks (FARNET). In that role, he was instrumental in helping transition a nationwide system of networks dedicated to research and education to what we know today as the Internet. He subsequently was influential in the formation of Internet2, the next generation of networks to emanate from the higher education community. Before joining FARNET, Jim served as Associate Director for National Networking at Merit Network and the University of Michigan where his responsibilities included the NSFNET project, the immediate precursor to the commodity Internet. He was a Principal Investigator for this and other projects. His networking career with the University of Nevada System where he provided the inspiration and early guidance for NevadaNet, a statewide academic network based on then revolutionary internet technology. Jim has been an active participant in the evolution of the Internet. Jim was lured away from a career as a biologist by the potential of computing devices and networks. While commuting to Washington, he maintained his humility with futile attempts at the culture of flora and fauna on a 25-acre farm in Southeastern Michigan. He has elected to get his hands dirty in a different sort of way. He suspended the agrarian life and retirement to move to Texas to help develop a regional optical network - the next really big thing. He arrived in July of 2004. He has some lingering interest and expertise in chickens, goats, frazier firs, old tractors, farm dogs, low power radio communications, old trailers and local politics. He continues to develop a fascination with Texas food, music, politics and attitude. He has a new pair of boots. Current outside interests include two BMW motorcycles, an old Mercedes, a 1945 2N Ford tractor, one girlfriend and a rather modest spread near Red Rock, TX (population 100). He talks funny but has recently discovered he has roots in Texas.

EDUCAUSE Presentations