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Heather Williams

Center for Astrophysics
Chief Operations Officer


Heather joined the CfA in July 2023 as the first Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO). Heather has extensive experience leading operations at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Having served in various capacities within MIT, including the Department of Physics, the School of Science, and the Provost's Office, she deeply understands the complexities of supporting collaborative scientific organizations. If you have thoughts on improving operations, streamlining processes, or would like a partner to tackle challenges of any size, please stop by Heather's Office in P-222, email her at, or send a Slack message.

Harvard Extension School, MA, Psychology; University of Massachusetts, Amherst, BA, Journalism and Philosophy.