Why I work with HCM
“At HCM, it is all about the work. There is a genuine commitment to our shared mission of improving public education for those students who have been historically and tragically underserved. Whether in the K-12 system or in postsecondary, the firm’s time and talent is laser-focused on shining a bright light on those policies and practices that serve as barriers to closing the achievement gap and offering solutions. Our clients and projects align to our goals as a firm allowing us to operate like a for-profit, non-profit. At this stage of my career, working with people I love on projects I care about feels like a huge gift.”
Cindi Williams has spent the last two decades focused on ensuring that all students, irrespective of race and income, have access to a high quality public education. As a senior official at the U.S. Department of Education, the White House and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, she has seen how communications, advocacy and policy can work together to improve student outcomes.
Cindi currently leads the K-12 education practice for HCM Strategists. She and her team have the privilege of partnering with innovative clients who share the team’s mission of helping those students who have historically been underserved by the public education system.
Prior to joining HCM Strategists in 2012, Cindi served as the communications director for the U.S. program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Before joining the Gates Foundation, Williams held several senior posts in the George W. Bush Administration including senior adviser to the U.S. Secretary of Education, deputy assistant secretary of education for communications and outreach, and a special assistant in the White House Office of Public Liaison where she led outreach strategies on behalf of education, women, small business, and a special 9-11 initiative to create a U.S. Afghan Women’s Council.
Cindi served as the board liaison at the American Red Cross and served as Elizabeth Dole’s chief of staff. She began her career on Capitol Hill and has returned on a couple of occasions to take on special projects.
Cindi lives in Bellevue, Washington with her husband, Tony, and her two sons, Joshua and Jacob. She is a passionate advocate for charter schools and has recently stepped down as Chair of the Washington State Charter Commission.
She has served on a number of volunteer leadership boards, including: the Bush Institute’s Education Advisory Council, the U.S. Afghan Women’s Council, Northwest Center Foundation Board, WA State Stand for Children Advisory Board and the Center for Reinventing Public Education. Cindi is a co-founder of Learning Heroes and currently serves as a senior advisor and strategic partner to the organization.
Articles & Publications
- Asset-Based Communications: Making the Shift to Anti-Racist Language | A Candid Conversation with Justice Leaders and Moderated by Cindi Williams
- In The News: Analysis: Safety, Trust, High Expectations — How Families & Teachers Can Work Together So This Isn’t a Lost Year for Students
- In The News: Beyond the Scantron: Two Parent Leaders on How to Make State Tests and Results Understandable for Parents
- Medium: Cindi Williams: Quarantined Mom: Week 3
- Medium: Cindi Williams: Quarantined Mom: Week 2
- Medium: Cindi Williams: Quarantined Mom: Day 4
- In The News: Cindi Williams: Together, Student Report Cards and School Report Cards Can Show Parents How Their Kids Are Really Doing in School. 5 States That Get It Right