Lizette A. Williams, McDonald’s Corporation

Lizette Williams bending her head to the left
Lizette A. Williams

Lizette A. Williams
Senior Director, U.S. Marketing
McDonald’s Corporation
Chicago, IL

Lizette A. Williams was passed up for a promotion early in her career and she never forgot it. She explains, “Things had been going well with relationship-building with my coworkers and I had glowing performance reviews. When I discussed it with my boss, she looked surprised. I remember her telling me, ‘I didn’t even know you wanted to be promoted.’ Because I had kept my head down and did good work, I thought I would be recognized. Since that day, I have lived by the Oprah Winfrey quote, ‘you get in life what you have the
courage to ask for.’”

Williams is senior director for U.S. marketing at McDonald’s Corporation. Mentors have had the biggest impact on her career success, she says. “They were critical in helping me navigate the complexity of corporate America. As a result, I am constantly mentoring others. I am a firm believer in the saying, ‘You lift as you climb.’” She is as an equally passionate advocate of diversity and inclusion, saying, “my career is marked by the impact I’ve made on advertising and media, but we still have a long road ahead to get to true equity and equality.”

Williams was inducted into the American Advertising Federation Advertising Hall of Achievement in 2017, and was a recipient of the advertising industry’s prestigious Jack Avrett Volunteer Spirit Award. She is the first in her my family to attend college and the second to graduate from high school. She won a scholarship to an elite boarding school in New England, earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science through a joint program at Columbia University and The London School of Economics, and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. “I have literally shifted economic classes in one generation of my family. I am thankful,” she remarks.