Ms. Rosemary Freitas Williams serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy.
Ms. Williams is responsible for policy, advocacy, and oversight of all community support to service members and their families; quality of life issues; state liaison initiatives; family programs and the 24/7/365 online and call-in family assistance services; child development and youth programs; military spouse career advancement; the off-duty, voluntary education program for military personnel; tuition assistance; morale, welfare, and recreation; defense resale for commissaries and exchanges; and family violence prevention and intervention. Her oversight includes the Armed Forces Retirement Homes, casualty and mortuary affairs, and military funeral honors.
Prior to her appointment, Williams served as vice president at a social marketing and strategic communications firm where she was responsible for the strategic direction of media relations and oversight of the agency’s public awareness campaigns, with a particular focus on issues affecting the veteran and military communities.
Ms. Williams’ public sector career includes service as Director for Communication and Public Liaison at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. In this position, she directed and coordinated all communication activities and strategies to engage the federal workforce and federal agency stakeholders, including Congress, media and the American public. Prior to joining OPM, she served as the Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications to the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. There she provided executive and strategic communications counsel and directed outreach to our nation’s veterans, service organizations, other federal agencies, and the general public. Ms. Williams also served as the Department of Veterans Affairs representative to the White House Council on Military Families.
Before her government service, Williams served as a communications director for Blue Star Families, a national 501c3 non-profit network of military families. Williams also 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.