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Jennifer Williams

Jennifer Williams (born October 11, 1982) is an American United States Department of State official who has served as a special advisor to U.S. vice president Mike Pence on European and Russian affairs. Williams testified under subpoena in closed-door hearings before the House intelligence, Oversight, and Foreign Affairs committees on November 9, 2019.[1] She gave public testimony to the House of Representatives ten days later.[2]

Jennifer Williams
Pence meets with New Moldova PM Maia Sandu (3).jpg
Williams (in white) joins Mike Pence in a meeting with Maia Sandu, 2019
Personal details
Born (1982-10-11) October 11, 1982 (age 37)
Political partyRepublican
EducationGeorgetown University (BA)
Princeton University (MPP)

Early life and educationEdit

Williams grew up in Houston, Texas. She attended Memorial High School in the Spring Branch ISD, serving as class vice-president and graduating in 2001.[3] Williams earned a bachelor's degree in international security studies from Georgetown University and a master's degree in public policy from Princeton University. [4]

CareerEdit

Williams began her government career in the United States Department of Homeland Security in 2005, shortly after graduating from Georgetown. She served as a political appointee of Secretary Michael Chertoff, the second United States Secretary of Homeland Security, serving under President George W. Bush.[5]

She then joined the United States Department of State in 2006, where she has served for more than thirteen years. She was initially focused on Middle East policy, and served overseas in Beirut and Kingston, Jamaica. She managed the U.S. government's humanitarian assistance program for Syrian refugees from 2011 to 2014, and then served as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs at the State Department headquarters in Washington, D.C.[6]

Williams then served in London as the United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom's Press Officer for three years.[7]

Williams has served as Mike Pence's aide on European and Russian affairs since April 2019.[8] Williams accompanied Pence when he traveled to Poland in September 2019 with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky regarding the approximately $400 million in military aid put on hold by the White House.[9]

External video
  Testimony of Williams and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman to the House Intelligence Committee, November 19, 2019, C-SPAN

Williams became the first witness from Pence's staff to give testimony in the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump. She was expected to answer inquiries regarding Pence's communications with Rudy Giuliani and Ukrainian leaders. Williams was one of a few officials on Trump's July 25, 2019 call with Ukraine President Zelensky in which Trump asked the Ukrainian leader to open an investigation into one of Trump's domestic political opponents.[1] She later indicated that she also overheard the July 25, 2019 call, and that the Trump administration wanted better knowledge about the controversy surrounding Burisma.[2][10] She stated that she expressed concern over the phone conversation, which she described as "unusual."[11] Williams also testified that when Zelensky was elected, Pence initially agreed to attend the inauguration if his schedule permitted, but that plan was cancelled when on May 13, Williams was informed that President Trump had decided that Pence would not represent the U.S. at the inauguration in Ukraine after all.[12]

Williams has been recognized as one of the "powerful, professional women on both sides of the dais who have emerged as major figures in the impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump," and one of the witnesses who have "held their own" in the face of partisan attacks.[13] Before her public testimony, Trump, without evidence, accused her of being a "Never Trumper," as he has with other witnesses.[14] Williams, who started her government career under in the Bush administration and called former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice “a personal hero of mine,” denied being a “Never Trumper.” [15]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Jaffe, Greg (November 7, 2019). "Impeachment probe turns to Pence adviser who heard Trump's call with Ukrainian leader". The Washington Post.
  2. ^ a b Blake, Aaron (November 19, 2019). "7 takeaways from Tuesday's impeachment hearings". The Washington Post.
  3. ^ Nick Natario (November 19, 2019). "Trump impeachment hearing witness is Spring Branch ISD alum". ABC13 Houston.
  4. ^ "Embassy Staff Bios: Jennifer Williams, Press Officer". Channel 4. June 22, 2018.
  5. ^ "READ: Testimony Of Jennifer Williams, Aide To Vice President Pence". NPR. November 16, 2019.
  6. ^ "JENNIFER WILLIAMS, US EMBASSY". Isaac Newton Academy. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  7. ^ Walden, Celia (July 7, 2018). "The toughest job in global diplomacy? Meet Trump's woman on the battleground in London". The Telegraph.
  8. ^ Cheney, Kyle (November 7, 2019). "Pence adviser testifying in impeachment inquiry". Politico.
  9. ^ Moore, Mark (November 7, 2019). "Top Pence aide Jennifer Williams expected to testify in impeachment probe". New York Post.
  10. ^ Shear, Michael D. (November 19, 2019). "Who Is Jennifer Williams? Pence Aide Listened to Trump-Zelensky Call". The New York Times.
  11. ^ Andrew Desiderio; Kyle Cheney (November 19, 2019). "'Improper' and 'unusual': White House aides criticize Trump's Ukraine call". Politico. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  12. ^ "Read Jennifer Williams's Prepared Opening Statement From the Impeachment Hearing". The New York Times. November 19, 2019.
  13. ^ "Impeachment's rock stars: Powerful women". Christian Science Monitor. November 21, 2019.
  14. ^ Chandelis Duster; Jeremy Diamond; Kaitlan Collins (November 17, 2019). "Trump lashes out at State Department employee ahead of public testimony". CNN. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  15. ^ Baker, Peter (November 19, 2019). "A White House Now 'Cannibalizing Itself'". The New York Times.