After growing up in Fort Worth, Williams became a star baseball player for Texas Christian University and went on to try to play professional ball with the Atlanta Braves. He returned to Texas to coach TCU's baseball team before embarking on a career in business and public affairs. Secretary Williams joined his father in a family automobile dealership founded in 1939.
He is a trustee of TCU and the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M. Williams was appointed by Governor Perry to the Texas Motor Vehicle Board and by Lt. Governor Ratliff to the Special Committee on State Employee Compensation and Benefits.
As Secretary of State, Williams serves as Chief Election Officer for Texas, assisting county election officials and ensuring the uniform application and interpretation of election laws through the state. Secretary Williams is currently overseeing the state’s efforts to comply with the federal Help America Vote Act. Williams is helping Texas lead the nation in addressing the most sweeping changes in federal election law in the past forty years.
Secretary Williams is also aggressively working with Governor Perry to promote economic development, investment and job creation in Texas . Governor Perry has made economic development a priority for his administration and Secretary Williams is joining the effort to bring new businesses to Texas and keep businesses in Texas .
As the Chief Liaison to Mexico and the Border Region of Texas, Secretary Williams is working on behalf of the Governor and his administration. In this capacity the Secretary works with Mexican federal, state and local officials on issues affecting Texas, Mexico and the border region.
As the overseer and director of Texas elections, Williams' office was in the spotlight during the 2006 Texas Governor's Race. Independent candidate Richard Friedman (commonly known as "Kinky") successfully lobbied to have the name "Kinky" placed on the election ballot. Another Independent candidate, Carole Strayhorn sought to have the name "Grandma" placed on the ballot next to her name (Strayhorn's campaign slogan was "one tough grandma"). Strayhorn's attempt was denied. Friedman and Strayhorn finished 3rd and 4th, respectively, in the election, behind Democrat Chris Bell and the winner, Incumbent Republican Rick Perry.
Williams and his wife, Patty, live in Weatherford and have two daughters attending TCU.