Dessima Williams

Special Adviser

Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals

Headshot Dessima Williams
Dessima Williams serves as Special Adviser for Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. She brings experience as a diplomat and negotiator, a social development advocate, professor and private sector investor.

In the 1980s, Dessima served as Grenada’s representative to the Organization of American States, Deputy Governor to the World Bank and Deputy Permanent Representative to the Inter-American Commission of Women. At the Organization of American States, she shepherded resolutions such as the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, Development and Independence and promotion of small island states.

Dessima has taught at secondary, college and university levels and is an advocate for the rights of women and girls, for farmers and for rural development. She founded the Grenada Education and Development Programme, which supports Grenada’s students as emerging leaders. She has also owned a business in the tourism sector.

In 2009, she returned to diplomacy as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Grenada to the United Nations, serving for over four years, three of those concurrently as Chair of the Alliance of Small Island Developing States. In this capacity, she led a 40-island global climate change effort that recorded the high ambition of keeping average global temperatures to 1.5 degrees in the Copenhagen Accord of 2009, which was later included in the 2015 Paris Agreement. Her leadership secured early investment for the island renewable energy organization, SIDS-DOCK.

Dessima has participated in numerous sustainable development and political meetings, including Rio+20 and the first and third United Nations Conferences on Small Island Developing States.