General Williams’ incredible commitment to the SEC’s tradition of public service is an example to us all. It is an honor to have her on our team.
Chairman Jay Clayton
Work life and home life. It’s how many people divide their days. For Wanda Williams of the Atlanta Regional Office it’s work life, more work life, and home life. An examiner with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Wanda’s other role is as Brigadier General, U.S. Army Reserve. It’s quite the transformation from traveling the country as a member of a two-person SEC exam team to overseeing 13,000 Army Reserve soldiers as a deputy commander of the 412th Theater Engineer Command, which covers 20 states in the U.S. and parts of Asia. But it’s change Wanda has embraced for many years as she rose through the SEC and was promoted from the Army’s most junior rank to one of its highest.
Wanda enlisted in the Army at the age of 17 as a private, graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and earned a commission as an Army officer through the Reserve Officer Training Corps at UTEP. In 2002, she joined the SEC as a program support assistant in the Atlanta Regional Office, providing administrative support for staff and research assistance for exam teams. Working with exam teams motivated Wanda to go back to school: while juggling her duties at the SEC and drilling with her reserve unit, she somehow found time to earn her master’s degree in accounting from Strayer University and became an examiner in ARO 2012. As she rose though the officer ranks of the Army she also earned a master’s degree in strategic studies from the Army War College.
Wanda travels regularly with her exam team and her military service has taken her to duty stations in the U.S. and deployments in the Middle East and South Korea. She is now one of only three female African-Americans general officers currently in the U.S. Army Reserve and hopes to inspire others to say “she did it, maybe I can.”
“The Army is a good place, not just for African American females, it’s a good place to be. It’s a good job to have,” said Williams. She adds: “People are people, no matter where you go. The important thing I’ve learned is to stay focused on the mission, if you can put the mission first and always treat people with dignity and respect the way you want to be treated, it matters not whether you are a private or brigadier general.”
Wanda’s military achievements have been applauded by those who work with her at the SEC.
“General Williams’ incredible commitment to the SEC’s tradition of public service is an example to us all,” said Chairman Jay Clayton. “It is an honor to have her on our team.”
“General Williams’ promotion is evidence of her dedication to serving our country while supporting and uplifting her team – both in the Army Reserves and at the SEC.” said Atlanta Regional Office Director Richard Best.
“Wanda is the embodiment of professionalism and dedication. She brings her best every day,” said Donna Esau, Atlanta Regional Office Associate Director, Examinations. “At the SEC and in particular the ARO, we are fortunate to have her.”
Wanda appreciates the agency’s support for staff members who are military veterans or currently serving in the reserves. “When leadership is involved, to me that signals the importance of something to the agency,” said Williams. “So certainly a shout out to Chairman Clayton that he’s involved with veterans affairs and that sends support to people who serve in the military at the SEC.”