Joseph Williams. Courtesy Department of Commerce.

The Washington State Department of Commerce announced that Joseph Williams has stepped down from his Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector lead position to join the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory as director of its Seattle office.

Over the past three years, Williams has served as a strategic adviser to Gov. Jay Inslee on tech industry public policy. During his tenure as the ICT sector lead for Commerce, Williams worked to promote economic growth in the state’s tech industry and helped incubate emerging economic activity in blockchain, 5G and artificial intelligence sub-sectors.

“The ICT industry has been a primary driver of our state’s sustained economic success, and Joseph’s knowledge, leadership and outstanding relationships have been instrumental in some significant wins,” stated Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “Growth in this sector continues to be a force strengthening communities all over the state, with impact stretching far beyond the Puget Sound metro area.”

Notable among industry accomplishments during Williams’ tenure as Gov. Inslee’s ICT sector lead is the legislature’s doubling the number of slots at the University of Washington for computer science degrees. Lawmakers also supported the Washington Technology Industry Association’s Apprenti program, which has grown into a national leader for promoting ICT apprenticeships for women, minorities and veterans. He was also integral to establishing the Internet of Things (IoT) Council. Additionally, Williams co-founded industry councils for blockchain and for drone technologies.