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Teresa Williams, Ph.D.

ACS Congressional Fellow, 2018-2019


Seeking to transition her 17-year career as a researcher into public policy, Dr. Teresa Williams spent her fellowship year in the U.S. House of Representatives on the Committee on Energy and Commerce (majority), lending her scientific expertise to help guide policy on the Energy and Environment & Climate Change subcommittees. 

For the previous decade Dr. Williams worked as a researcher at The Molecular Foundry, a U.S. Department of Energy nanoscale science user facility at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. She collaborated with scientists from around the world helping them solve their nano-focused research challenges through sharing her expertise in organic, polymer, and nanocrystal chemistries and electron microscopy techniques. Prior to joining Berkeley Lab, Dr. Williams was a researcher at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research where she was responsible for the first synthesis and scale-up efforts of Raf265 for Phase I clinical trials of metastatic melanoma. She is the co-author of 23 peer-reviewed publications, holds five patents, and speaks to global audiences about her research and unusual path to a career in STEM. 

Dr. Williams is committed to global efforts supporting the next generation of women in STEM. As a volunteer professional mentor since 2016 with TechWomen, a U.S. Department of State mentorship/exchange program through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, she hosted women scientists from Tunisia, South Africa and Kenya while at Berkeley Lab. She was competitively selected for week-long delegation trips with the State Department to Egypt (2018) and Kenya (2017) for mentorship and science/technology outreach with local women and girls. Dr. Williams received her Ph.D. (2017) and M.S. (2014) in Applied Science and Technology from the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley, with dissertation research on interactions and assemblies of polymeric materials and inorganic nanocrystals. She also holds a B.S. in Chemistry (2001) from UC Davis.

Fellowship Focus

During her time as a Congressional Fellow in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Teresa:

  • Was the team lead for electric vehicle infrastructure and wrote two bills focused on alternative fuels and emissions reduction. She also contributed to legislation on chemical regulation, energy efficiency, and workforce development. 
  • Met the recipient of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Prof. Frances Arnold, at the Embassy of Sweden
  • Was invited by the U.S. Dept. of State to speak about her career at a Women's History Month event in March


"I leave well informed on how the legislative process works from start to finish, having contributed at each step along the way. I learned how to effectively communicate science topics to non-scientists and how to write non-scientific research work products. Most importantly I learned . . . how to navigate and find my place in a professional world beyond the walls of a laboratory.” 


Find Teresa on LinkedIn

Become a Fellow

Application deadline: January 15


Policy Fellowship Programs
External Affairs & Communications
American Chemical Society
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(202) 872-4098