Ayanna Williams is Director of Public Interest Initiatives in Penn Carey Law’s Toll Public Interest Center. She collaborates with staff, faculty, students, and University and community partners to oversee public interest initiatives at the Law School, including administering the expanded Toll Public Interest Scholars and Fellows Programs and the newly created Alumni Impact Awards.
Prior to joining Penn Carey Law, Ayanna was an Assistant Federal Defender in the Capital Habeas Unit of the Federal Community Defender Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. While at the CHU, she represented individuals convicted and sentenced to death in post-conviction proceedings. She also co-led the CHU’s internship and externship programs. She received her JD from New York University School of Law, where she dedicated herself to public service. She participated in two year-long clinics in criminal defense and helped to represent capitally sentenced defendants over the summer. She received her BA in English and American Literature and Language with honors from Harvard University.