USM names Hattiesburg native Chief Sustainability Officer

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The University of Southern Mississippi has named a Hattiesburg native as its new Chief Sustainability Officer.

Southern Miss has named Jonathan Williams Chief Sustainability Officer.

Williams is currently a Visiting Professor in the College of Business. He plans to develop educational programming to prepare students for opportunities in the emerging "green industries" such as Stion, which recently announced its planned opening of a plant in the Hattiesburg Industrial Park manufacturing high-efficiency thin-film solar.

"Southern Miss is in a unique place at a unique time," explained Williams. "We can be at the forefront of the green industry; the perfect place at the perfect time with the vision to supply the south with necessary technical developments and graduates."

Williams says he wants to help Southern Miss move beyond "thinking green" to assist Southern Miss graduates develop skills to open "green business ventures, be employed in existing industries, and bring new technology businesses to the Pine Belt.

"We are fortunate to have someone of Jonathan's caliber to lead our efforts," stated Southern Miss President Martha Saunders. "Having recently completed an ambitious Climate Action Plan, Southern Miss is leading the charge to the top in the area of environmental responsibility and sustainability."

Williams holds an undergraduate degree in economics from Duke University, a law degree from Washington University and an MBA from the Leonard Stern School of Business at New York University.

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