Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
Ms. Rosemary Freitas Williams serves as the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to her role with the VA, Ms. Williams was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy. Ms. Williams’ public sector career also includes service as Director for Communication and Public Liaison at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and as Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications to the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, 2009-2011 where she was also the Department of Veterans Affairs’ representative to the White House Council on Military Families. Today, she also serves on the executive committee of the Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention.
Prior to her public sector work, Ms. Williams enjoyed a 25-year broadcast journalism career, receiving numerous awards including a National Emmy Award for Team Coverage of the attacks on September 11th and the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award for a documentary on apartheid in South Africa. She was a principal for many network start-ups, including MSNBC, NBC and Microsoft’s 24-hour news channel, where she was the Executive Producer of News. Ms. Williams was awarded fellowships in Ethical Decision Making at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg, Fla., and in National Security at the Air War College, part of the U.S. Air Force’s Air University in Montgomery, Ala. She has been published on the topic of mental health and today’s military families and is author of the local history book, Maritime Annapolis – A History of Watermen, Sail & Midshipmen.