Richard B. Williams (Oglala Lakota/Northern Cheyenne) is a passionate and committed advocate and fierce champion of Native education in the United States. From 1997-2012, he served as president and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, a national non-profit scholarship fundraising organization for American Indian students attending tribal colleges and universities which provide culturally based education and are run by the tribes. He grew up in Crawford, Nebraska, and graduated from Crawford High School in 1969. He was raised by his grandmother Louisa Star Nelson and his great-grandmother Ida White Eyes.
He was the first American Indian to graduate from the University of Nebraska Lincoln, receiving a B.A. (magna cum laude) in 1975. Concurrently, he finished an independent study program at the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) in Boulder, Colorado, where he continued his work as a paralegal after graduation. In 1987, he completed a M.A. in educational administration (Summa Cum Laude) at the University of Wyoming, Laramie.
He has dedicated himself to the goal of American Indian education throughout his career. At CU-Boulder, he directed several initiatives, including the American Indian Upward Bound Program, Director of Minority Affairs and the University Learning Center (now the Student Academic Service Center [SASC]).
He is a devoted father of four children and grandfather of eight grandchildren. He resides in Broomfield, Colorado, with his wife, Sally Carufel-Williams (Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe/Dakota).