Drenda Williams

Associate Director for Operations at National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Drenda Williams is the NIFA Acting Associate Director for Operations. She joined NIFA in May 2020 from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) where during her tenure she was Acting State Conservationist and Assistant State Conservationist for Management and Strategy in Texas from September 2012 through May 2020. Prior to this she worked as the Branch Chief for Diversity and Recruitment, State Conservationist – Portland, State Conservationist – Missouri, State Administrative Officer, Assistant State Conservationist for Operations, and on several detail assignments to the NRCS National Office in Washington, DC. Williams has extensive experience in civil rights, diversity and inclusion, Farm Bill programs, grants and agreements, compliance and quality assurance, administrative and operational business processes, and scholarship and recruitment initiatives at the 1890’s, 1862’s, HSI’s, and tribal colleges.

Williams has implemented process improvement approaches to ensure the areas of compliance and quality assurance are effective and efficient for employees and partners. She received the NRCS Chief’s Diversity Award in addition to the USDA Martin Luther King Jr Drum Major for Service Award. She began her career working directly with farmers in her home county of Audrain in Northeast Missouri.

Williams received a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from Lincoln University in Missouri as a USDA 1890 Scholar and graduated from the George Washington University’s Leadership Program



  • Associate Director for Operations

    November, 2022 - present

  • Director of the Equal Opportunity Staff

  • Acting Associate Director, Operations

  • Acting Senior Operations & Policy Officer