For over two decades, Cynthia Williams has been active in the field of the history of decorative arts. In 2015, after 15 years as Director/Assistant Professor of the MA program in the History of Decorative Arts offered through George Mason University in partnership with The Smithsonian Associates, she returned to the New York area as Project Director for a major real estate firm and specializes in repurposing historic properties. Recently, she curated a permanent exhibition including landscape design that documents the history of the Boyce Thompson Institute, a pioneering plant science research institute whose 1920s site in Yonkers, NY, has been saved and meticulously readapted by her firm as a multi-purpose healthcare, retail, dining and community center.
Prior to her academic career, Cynthia held corporate communication and human resources assignments at Fortune 500 companies including Nestle Foods, Avon Products, Xerox and Sony Corporation. She has a BA from Pace University, an MA in Corporate Communication from Fairfield University, an MA in the History of Decorative Arts from Parsons School of Design/Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian National Design Museum, and currently is pursuing her PhD in art history at the University of Glasgow with a specialism in history of glass. Cynthia has served on the board of The Neustadt since 2009 and began serving as board president in 2014.