Cutler Institute

Nikki Williams

Senior Policy Associate: Children, Youth, and Families Program
Nikki Williams

Office Location

335 Wishcamper Center, Portland Campus




Nikki Williams is an economic development professional with over 10 years of experience working collaboratively with organizations and communities to develop impactful strategies that support youth and adults to connect to employment and education. Nikki is a fairly recent transplant to Maine from New York City where she spent 6 years managing workforce development programs for low-income New Yorkers. She served as the Program Manager for Upwardly Global, New York, a non-profit organization that connects skilled immigrants with professional-level job opportunities across the country. While at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), she oversaw the NYCHA Resident Training Academy, an innovative, employment-linked training program for public housing residents that served over 250 residents per year. She also helped launch the pilot program, HireNYC, while at the NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), which was the City's first attempt at incentiving local source hiring by linking the City's real estate development projects with the publicly-funded workforce system. Nikki is a lifelong city-dweller and product of a large public school system. From a young age, she learned to value diversity in all forms, and has deep respect for the open expression of identities, ideals, and lifestyles. She also loves to travel and has visited every continent except Antarctica.

Areas of Expertise

Establishes and maintains relationships with funders, collaborative partners, youth, and community organizations at a regional, state and national level and maintains active participation in community groups to ensure open and ongoing communication with Youth and Community Engagement initiatives. Advises and consults with community partners in determining priorities, initiatives and interventions. Utilizes best practices research, creative thinking skills, and innovative strategies to develop new program areas in the field of youth workforce development. Identifies opportunities to scale or deepen existing programming in order to expand the reach of program services to a larger population of youth and additional geographic areas.


 Master of Urban Planning, New York University
Bachelor of Arts, Barnard College at Columbia University