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Pete Williams, the recently-retired NBC News correspondent for the Department of Justice and the Supreme Court, is joining John Carroll University’s College of Arts and Sciences as Journalist in Residence. 


Williams, who delivered the 2021 Undergraduate Commencement Address and received an honorary degree from John Carroll, will guest lecture in classes, mentor students academically and professionally, collaborate with faculty, and offer public programming. His first residency will take place the week of February 13.


The late Tim Russert ‘72, longtime host of NBC’s Meet the Press and namesake of the Russert Department of Communication, inspired Williams to engage with John Carroll. 


My connection to John Carroll University is one of its most revered graduates, Tim Russert, who hired me to work at NBC. He was my boss and friend for 15 years before he died. Tim was proud of his Jesuit education – a values-based education meant to train young people to influence the moral tone of our society. I feel grateful to do my part in carrying on Tim’s impactful legacy together with the JCU community.

Williams was the justice correspondent for NBC News for nearly 30 years. Stationed in Washington, D.C., Williams reported on news from the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Supreme Court. Throughout his career with NBC News, Williams has received four national news Emmy awards. Prior to his career as a journalist, Williams served as press secretary and legislative assistant in the staff of U.S. Representative Dick Cheney in 1986. When Cheney was appointed as United States Secretary of Defense following the election of George H.W. Bush in 1989, Williams served as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. Williams graduated from Stanford in 1974 and received an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Wyoming in 2012 for his contributions to the journalism field.


“We are thrilled to welcome Pete Williams to the College of Arts and Sciences and the John Carroll community,"  said Bonnie Gunzenhauser, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. "He brings a wealth of experience in politics as well as an unwavering commitment to thoughtful and ethical journalism. Pete also exemplifies the JCU mission to inspire individuals of intellect and character to learn, lead, and serve. Our students are fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from him in the classroom, and our faculty look forward to building lasting collaborations."