Dr. James C. “Jimmie” Williamson became the eighth president of the NC Community College System on July 1, 2016. He brings extensive experience as a leader, innovator and proponent of community colleges along with a background steeped in business, economic development, workforce development and community service.
Before assuming the role at NCCCS, he served two years as President and CEO of the South Carolina Technical College System, where the highlights of his tenure included working with South Carolina university partners to smooth transfer pathways, chairing a special Senate proviso committee to develop a comprehensive workforce development strategy to help close the skills gap, and working with companies such as Volvo, Michelin, Continental, BMW and more on industry-specific worker training. Additionally, he has been at the helm of South Carolina’s nationally recognized apprenticeship program and was named State Employee of The Year by the South Carolina Association of Regional Councils in 2015.
His insight into workforce development is informed by both his 20 years in the SC technical system – rising through roles from registrar to dean to two college presidencies and then to System President – and by his six years in a leadership position with Agapé Senior, a healthcare-related industry in South Carolina. While serving in the private sector, Dr. Williamson was honored by ASHHRA with the inaugural Gary Willis Leadership Award for outstanding leadership and innovation as a healthcare human resources professional.
Dr. Williamson holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts and Masters of Education in Guidance and Counseling from Winthrop University, as well as a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of South Carolina. A long-time Rotarian, Dr. Williamson served as District Governor of Rotary District 7770 in 2014-15. His community involvement includes having served as board member of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and as a member of various economic development boards. He formerly served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Chesterfield County School Board and the Winthrop University Board of Trustees. He has been honored by Winthrop University with the Alumni Professional Achievement Award as well as the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award (first awarded as an undergraduate, then as an Alumnus). Additionally, he was named “Citizen of the Year” from the Williamsburg Hometown Chamber of Commerce.