Alison Williams

Chief of Staff

Office of Gov. Asa Hutchinson

Little Rock

Age: 39

Alison Williams

Military brat Alison Williams landed in Arkansas at 16 and graduated from Cabot High School and the University of Arkansas. “I was a first-generation college student, and ... I looked around and asked, ‘My goodness, what does anyone do with a political science degree?’”

She spent the next 17 years in Washington. An early job was in then-Rep. Asa Hutchinson’s office. For eight years she moved with him to the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, even the private sector before their paths diverged.

When he was elected governor, “I made sure he knew I was interested in coming back to work for him. And the rest is history, as they say.”

Williams loves policy development, but wonks don’t seem as valuable in D.C. as they used to be. “It’s a really good time to be at the state level with a thoughtful leader who cares about the people of Arkansas,” she said.

Williams’ days are never the same, but her mission is constant: making sure the governor’s calendar is meeting his strategic goals.

Since returning to the state, she has joined the boards of the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas and the new Arkansas Cinema Society. She is also a Rotarian.