Executive James Williams

As Interim County Counsel

Santa Clara County  / CALIFORNIA

The County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors announced Tuesday June 7th the appointment of Deputy County Executive James Williams as Interim County Counsel. He will step into the role August 1 following the retirement of County Counsel Orry Korb. Williams has served as Deputy County Executive since January 2013.

“James’ experience in the County Counsel’s Office and the County Executive’s Office make him an excellent choice for interim County Counsel,” said Board President Dave Cortese. “I have every confidence that he will effectively face the challenges ahead of us.”

Williams began his career with the County of Santa Clara in 2010 as a Social Justice & Impact Litigation Fellow in the Office of the County Counsel.  His impressive work landed him a role as Deputy County Counsel where, among other duties, he advised the County’s Finance Agency and its Auditor-Controller, Treasurer, and Tax Collector functions.  He also helped lead the County’s successful litigation strategy on redevelopment dissolution. He delivered the oral argument before the California Supreme Court on behalf of the County as an Intervener in California Redevelopment Association v. Matosantos, where the County’s successful argument resulted in the dissolution of the state’s 400+ redevelopment agencies on February 1, 2012.

Williams was appointed Deputy County Executive following his role as Special Assistant to the County Executive, where he focused on the dissolution of the redevelopment agencies.  As Deputy County Executive, Williams provides oversight and executive leadership management of several County departments, including Procurement, County Fire, County Communications, and Risk Management. The departments’ recommended Fiscal Year 2017 budgets exceed $263 million. He is also responsible for policy oversight for over $2 billion in contracting annually. He supervises several functions in the County Executive’s Office, including the Office of Emergency Services, the Office of Countywide Contracting Management, Redevelopment Dissolution, and the Bail and Release Project.

“I am honored to be selected as the Board of Supervisors’ interim chief legal advisor,” Williams said. “I look forward to working with the talented attorneys in the County Counsel’s Office to provide exceptional legal advice to the Board and the County.”

Williams graduated from Stanford Law School in June 2010.  In 2006, he graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University, where he received the Pyne Prize, Princeton’s highest undergraduate distinction.  He is a Harry S. Truman Scholar and Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow.  In Spring 2012, Williams was named a “Lawyer on the Fast Track” by The Recorder, recognizing California attorneys in their first 10 years of practice “whose early accomplishments indicate they will be tomorrow’s top lawyers and leaders.”

Williams and his wife, Mary Anne, live in San Jose with their three children: Jesse, age 6; Boman, age 4; and Susanna, age 2.