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Hudson Valley Future Summit

Keynote Presentations

Donald P. Christian, State University of New York at New Paltz - President

As President, Christian is responsible for all aspects of campus academic and administrative operations, including education, research, faculty recruitment and development. Working in collaboration with internal and external constituencies, the president provides overall leadership and guidance for the College. The president represents the campus’ interests within the SUNY System, with local, state, and federal-elected officials and surrounding communities, and leads or supports many aspects of the College’s role in SUNY and New York State economic development initiatives. In 2013-14, the College began implementing a strategic plan developed under the president’s leadership; primary goals of the plan are to take specific actions that improve the quality of the student experience and the College’s educational contributions, strengthen the College’s role and visibility in the region, enhance alumni relations, improve philanthropic success, and enhance institutional effectiveness.


Photo Credit: Jill Greenberg

Seth Godin, Author, speaker, entrepreneur

What made you decide to work and/or live in the Hudson Valley?

Why live anyplace else?

What would you like the audience and your fellow attendees to know about you?

I notice things and share them with people who'd like to make change happen. I blog every day, start things and when I can, make a ruckus.


Dr. Nicolé Williams, Superintendent, Poughkeepsie School District

What made you decide to work and/or live in the Hudson Valley?

Dr. Williams came to the Hudson Valley from St. Louis, Missouri to assume the leadership role of Superintendent for the Poughkeepsie City School District on July 1, 2013. She brings to Poughkeepsie City School District an impressive record in transformative educational leadership that has led to significant improvement in student learning and instructional leadership development. She works closely with the Poughkeepsie City School District Board of Education to improve academic achievement for all students and, of equal importance, to ensure that the school district’s systems and processes are effective, efficient, and results-driven. In collaboration with a committed staff and Board of Education, Dr. Williams is maintaining an unwavering focus on providing rich and valuable learning opportunities to prepare all students for college and 21st century careers. As a result of the hard work of the team, the graduation rate is on an upward trajectory and there are many "points of pride" to celebrate.

Dr. Williams taught at the elementary, middle, high school, and college levels. Dr. Williams has 30 years of experience serving in diverse, urban public school districts across this country. Her prior experience includes extensive travel and work in the field of education in several states, as well as Europe and Puerto Rico.

What would you like the audience and your fellow attendees to know about you?

Dr. Nicolé Williams is an experienced educator who believes that children must participate in educational opportunities that engage, enrich, and empower them to be life-long learners. As a staunch advocate for equity and excellence for every child, every day, in every classroom, she promotes strong student achievement through the use of data-driven instructional practices and collaborative planning processes.

Bilingual in Spanish and English, Dr. Williams holds a doctorate and a master’s degree from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education (with a concentration in the Urban Superintendents Program); and a master’s degree in education (with a concentration in bilingual education) and a bachelor’s degree in political science, both from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York.