Growing Up in the City
Dexter Williams is a native Washingtonian. He grew up in the Hillcrest neighborhood of Ward 7, where he currently lives. His mom is a retired DC Public Schools teacher with 25 years of service. She dedicated her life to educating children, even going above and beyond to ensure they had what they needed outside the classroom to be successful. His dad is a retired corrections officer with the DC Department of Corrections. He mentored incarcerated residents, and when they returned home, he made sure they had the resources to succeed in life. Dexter grew up watching his parents commit themselves to public service. It’s where he gets his passion for helping others.
Career and Education
Dexter graduated from Friendship Collegiate Academy in 2007. He later studied at Howard University, earning a degree in health sciences. After Howard, he received his master's degree in public administration from the University of Baltimore.
Dexter has experience working in government, the private sector, and nonprofits. When he worked with At-Large Councilmember Robert White, Dexter drafted and organized support for the Restore the Vote bill. This bill restored voting rights for incarcerated residents whose right to vote was taken away because of policies motivated by racism. He also created a program that allows returning citizens to build careers. Dexter provided oversight over the Office on Returning Citizen Affairs, Department of General Services and managed a policy portfolio that included transportation and environmental issues.
He joined his alma mater, Howard University, to work in government relations. In that role, he created the university's first-ever congressional fellowship program, where students gain hands-on public policy experience. Also, he built a working relationship with the DC Council. As part of that effort, he led a year-long project that shows Howard's economic, community service, and social impact on the city.
Before working at Howard University and the DC Council, he took a job with U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) to assist constituents with their issues. He also worked at the Alliance for Health Policy, coordinating policy briefings for congressional staff. After the Alliance, he worked in Holland & Knight's health care practice, assisting clients with meeting their policy goals.
Today, he works at RepresentUs, focusing on making election systems around the country better. He co-directed the Vote by Mail (VBM) program. The VBM team partnered with local stakeholders in multiple states to advocate for policies that allow voters to automatically receive a ballot in the mail, making voting easier and more accessible. The team, in partnership with local leaders, successfully got a full VBM bill passed in Vermont.
Dexter organized residents, with other leaders around the city, to establish the DC Fair Elections program. It empowers voters by matching their donations to candidates. The program started in the 2020 election and is a huge success. The city had a significant number of candidates for Council and State Board of Education seats participating in the program, and two first-time Council candidates won their elections, beating the odds.
He is also the elected Ward 7 Democratic State Committeeman, where he educates voters about the democratic process and works to build interest and participation in the Democratic Party.
Dexter served on the WMATA Rider's Advisory Council, Healthy Youth and Schools Commission, Hillcrest Community Association's education committee, DC for Democracy, and DC Young Democrats. Currently, he serves on the board of the Federation of Citizens Association.