Mark Williams received his doctorate in political science in 1983 from the University of Iowa with concentrations in policy analysis and research methods. After finishing his studies, Dr. Williams taught at the University of Rhode Island and the University of St. Thomas. He entered the private sector in 1987 for an opportunity to conduct full-time research. During this time, he was appointed voluntary (adjunct) associate professor in the Department of Public Health in the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami. Dr. Williams returned to academia full time in 1999 as associate professor of behavioral science in the University of Texas School of Public Health. He was promoted to professor in 2003 and awarded tenure in 2006. He joined the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work in 2011 as chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management. Dr. Williams was appointed Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in 2012 and acting interim Dean in 2013 and 2014.
Dr. Williams has conducted research in the areas of behavioral epidemiology, disease prevention, and health promotion in underserved and minority populations for more than 20 years. He has been principal investigator, co-principal investigator, or investigator on more than 30 studies funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Mental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Texas Department of Alcohol and Drug Abuse. Of particular note, Dr. Williams was principal investigator of two cooperative agreement research projects and principal investigator of a national data management center. He has published over 150 peer-review articles and book chapters. He is a past American co-editor of AIDS Care and has served on the editorial boards of three national and international journals and is a regular reviewer for more than 20 scholarly journals.