Bio (Tony Williams)

Bio Horizontal
Tony Williams

Tony Williams


Associate Faculty


Leadership Studies


Tony Williams was born in Wales and saw himself becoming a professional musician playing woodwinds in classic and jazz orchestras. However, his interests and subsequent professional life took many turns, from music to teaching to exercise physiology to medical education, and then into senior management and academia. Throughout these experiences, he developed a deep interest in how people became good—and in some cases, very good—at what they do. He is fascinated with the nature and development of professional competence. Initially this interest focused on technical expertise, particularly in clinical settings. Recently, his interest has shifted to the development of managerial and organizational competence and its impact on strategy. Much of his consulting work relates to the ethnography of top management teams and the differences between amateur and professional leaders.


A large part of Williams’ professional life has been as a health professions educator. He was a founding director of the Justice Institute of British Columbia, where he led the Paramedic Academy to become an internationally recognized centre for emergency medical services development. During a four-year secondment at Royal Roads University he taught in the Schools of Business and Leadership with an academic focus on systems and strategic leadership. He was the academic lead for the health specialty as well as the lead for the former specialty in justice and public safety. At the end of his secondment, he accepted a position as a vice president in the financial services industry running a corporate university. He is currently a consultant specializing in strategic leadership.  


Williams holds a PhD from the School of Health and Human Services at Columbia Pacific University (1993). His dissertation focused on the efficacy of premium broadband videoconferencing in teaching and evaluating resuscitation skills. He also holds a Master of Science from the School of Health, Physical Education, Recreation at the University of Oregon (1971); a Bachelor of Science from the School of Health, Physical Education, Recreation at the University of Oregon (1969); and a Teacher’s Certificate with Advanced Diploma in Physical Education (with distinction) from the University of Wales (1967). Williams received the Coast Capital Credit Union President’s Innovation Award (2008), BC Ambulance Service Infant Transport Team Recognition Award (2007), Justice Institute of British Columbia President’s Award (1999) and Hong Kong College of Emergency Medicine Recognition Award (1998).