Jeff Williams – Keynote Speaker

Former Mayor of Arlington, Texas

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Jeff  Williams Profile Picture

Specialist Subjects

  • Cities
  • City Planning and Engineering
  • Inclusive Leadership
  • Inspiration and Empowerment
  • Visioning and Implementation
  • Economic Development
  • Transportation Innovation and Technology
  • Public infrastructure
  • Municipal Investments in Development
  • Innovation and Technology Advancement
  • Engineering Communities for the next Century
  • Tourism, Sports and Entertainment
  • Private/Public Partnerships
  • Role of Education in Building a City



  • English


Jeff Williams is both a Registered Professional Engineer and a Mayor. Williams’ extensive experience in engineering and building communities helped him become one of the most successful Mayors in the United States. He is a gifted speaker and communicator with an ability to cast vision and anticipate challenges. Mayor Williams inclusive leadership style, along with understanding that true results are achieved through partnerships, has been key to his success. This success has not gone unnoticed. This past year, he was awarded the Nation’s Outstanding Public Official by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The Big City Mayors of Texas selected him as their chairman for the 2020 – 2021 term. The U.S. Conference of Mayors selected Mayor Williams to Chair the prestigious National Metro Economies Committee and the Tourism. Sports, and Entertainment Committee. The U.S. Conference of Mayors also appointed him to be Co-Chair of the important National Covid Relief Task Force which resulted in the largest grant in U.S. history to our cities ($65 billion).

Mayor Williams came into office with a strategic plan to create jobs and expand tourism to generate more revenue to invest in the City. The successful implementation of this plan resulted in: Fortune 500 company, D.R. Horton, moving their world headquarters to Arlington; UPS building a state-of-the-art distribution center in the City; General Motors investing $1.4 billion in the expansion of their existing manufacturing plant; manufacturers from Canada, Mexico and Luxembourg relocating their manufacturing operations to the newly constructed Arlington Logistics Center resulting in 2,000 new jobs in this one facility; and the World Headquarters of Six Flags Amusement Parks moving to Arlington. These are just a few examples of the very aggressive business recruitment led by Mayor Williams.

His efforts to expand tourism resulted in building a $1.2 billion retractable roof special events center. This venue is considered the “best ballpark in Major League Baseball”, as evidenced by its selection to host the World Series in its first year of operation in 2020. The facility is now hosting over 300 events a year, along with AT&T Stadium (home of the Dallas Cowboys) which is also hosting over 300 events a year. The events range from the Super Bowl, NBA Allstar Game, Wrestlemania, Concerts, National Finals Rodeo, Major League Baseball Allstar Game to the World Cup scheduled in 2026, to name a few. In addition, Six Flags over Texas, a large amusement park was expanded. With ESports becoming one of the fastest growing businesses in the world, Mayor Williams led the City to build the largest ESports Arena in the nation. The City was also selected to be the home of the National Medal of Honor Museum, after a nationwide competition. Under Mayor Williams leadership in this competition, they competed successfully against such cities as Denver and San Diego. The Arlington Entertainment District has become a world class destination, with Loew’s Hotels building 4000 hotel rooms and a new convention center, along with the completion of the largest entertainment venue in Texas called Texas Live!

The increased revenue allowed for major investment in infrastructure and transportation, while reducing taxes. Mayor Jeff Williams leveraged the City investment to procur private funding, along with County, State and Federal grants. He also opened the City to be a “technology laboratory“. Arlington was the first City in America to operate an autonomous public shuttle! One of the most successful transportation projects in America was also begun in Arlington. It is a technology rideshare program that is a public/private partnership with Via, where people are conveniently transported for a fraction of the cost of light rail. Cities across the nation are now implementing this mode of transportation. Mayor Williams was a featured speaker at the World Transportation Conference in china in 2019, as a result of the many transportation innovations implemented in his City. Mayor Williams has encouraged many other technology advancements and Arlington was awarded the coveted “What Works Cities Gold Certification” ranking Arlington as one of the most technologically advanced cities in the United States.

After serving three terms as Mayor and terming out, he is currently serving as the President and CEO of Graham Associates, a civil engineering and planning firm. His distinguished engineering career includes serving as the Civil Engineer on many landmark projects such as Cowboys Stadium(Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award), Nebraska Furniture Mart development(largest retail store in the world) owned by Warren Buffet, Interstate 30 Three Bridges (Project of the Year for State of Texas), and Southlake Town Square(numerous national awards for town center and mixed use development). Mayor Jeff Williams has been recognized as a Distinguished Engineer by his alma mater Texas Tech University, inducted in to the university’s Civil Engineering Academy for Engineering Excellence and is a member of the Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Honor Fraternity at both Texas Tech and the University of Texas at Arlington.

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