Williams was executive director of the Wisconsin Conference of Social Work from 1922 to 1932. He joined the Roosevelt administration in 1933 and left in 1943 to become director of the National Farmers' Union. From 1945 to 1965 he was editor of SOUTHERN FARM AND HOME.
From the description of Papers, 1914-1959, 1930-1959 (bulk) (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 155525242
Aubrey Willis Williams (1890-1965), social worker, federal official, and civil rights advocate, was born in Springville, Alabama. In 1911, Williams entered Maryville College in Tennessee with the intention of becoming a Presbyterian minister. He remained at Maryville for five years and developed an increasing interest in the social sciences. In 1916 he transferred to the University of Cincinnati, but left school the following year to go to Paris as a student representative of the Young Men''s Christian Association. Williams was soon caught up in the excitement of World War I and joined the French Foreign Legion, serving until the arrival of American troops led to his reassignment to an American unit. He was wounded in action. Williams remained in France after the armistice to attend the University of Bordeaux. He returned to the United States in 1919 and resumed his studies at Cincinnati, finally earning the B.A. in 1920. In 1932, Williams became a field representative for the American Public Welfare Association. His job was to make sure that relief loans from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation actually reached those in need. He proved adept at dealing with local politicians who saw federal relief as a threat. During one foray into Mississippi, he organized what in effect became the country''s first statewide work relief program. In May 1933, Harry Hopkins, the director of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA), put Williams in charge of FERA''s southwestern district. Williams'' background, education, temperament, and experience in public welfare made him a fervent New Dealer. Together he and Hopkins began planning for the Civil Works Administration (CWA), the first federally run work relief program. Williams became a highly visible public advocate of New Deal social welfare policies. As deputy administrator of the CWA and, beginning in 1935, of its successor, the Works Progress Administration, he oversaw the spending of billions of dollars and helped put large numbers of people to work. He was among the minority of New Dealers who believed that the federal government''s responsibility for the well being of all Americans extended beyond the economic crisis caused by the Great Depression. When, in 1935, an executive order created the National Youth Administration (NYA), Williams became its head. His work for the NYA, which aided young people in completing their education by offering them part-time employment, drew him into the orbit of Eleanor Roosevelt, who made the agency one of her pet projects. She and Williams formed a close working relationship and came to admire each other personally. With her support Williams was able to make the NYA particularly responsive to black youths.
From the description of Williams, Aubrey W. (Aubrey Willis), 1890-1965 (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration). naId: 10679482