Shawn Williams hired as director of public records
December 29, 2016
Building on his commitment to transparency and good governance, Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the appointment of Shawn Williams as the City of Boston's first-ever Director of Public Records. As Director of Public Records, Williams will coordinate and streamline the City's procedures to receiving and responding to public records requests.
"Shawn has written the book on public records law, and I'm thrilled he will be joining City Hall to ensure openness, transparency and compliance around all public records matters," said Mayor Walsh. "With his experience and dedication, Shawn is a wonderful addition to our public records team, and I welcome him to City Hall."
Williams will work closely with the Press Office, Department of Information and Technology and additional departments throughout the City. Williams will report to the City's Corporation Counsel.
Key responsibilities for the Director of Public Records include serving as the main point of contact for all public records requests, ensuring timely compliance with all requests, identifying potential responsive records, determining appropriate fees for records requests, coordinating with City departments to gather records, providing training to City employees, and conducting any other necessary reviews to confirm compliance with all public records laws.
Prior to joining City Hall, Williams served as Director-Supervisor of Records for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for the last five years, and worked in the division for 11 years in total, beginning as a staff attorney. While working for the Commonwealth, Williams also served as chair of the State Records Conservation Board, a member of the Massachusetts Historical Records Advisory Board and presented workshops on public records to municipal and state organizations, cities and towns. Williams received his undergraduate degree from Boston University, and his juris doctor from Suffolk University Law School.
"Public records statutes are key to creating an open, transparent, thriving democracy, and I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the City of Boston's public records division," said Williams. "As Director of Public Records, I look forward to ensuring Boston is the leader in public records good practices."
Williams lives in Beacon Hill with his wife and son.