Leah Berman Williams

Leah Berman Williams

Who I Am

About Leah

Sixteen years!

Sixteen years!

I am committed to using evidence-based decision making to find solutions to the complicated questions facing the borough. I bring an ability to synthesize complex information, and I am passionate about working together with people from all walks of life to continue to make Fairbanks a great place to grow up, a great place to work and live, and a great place to retire.

I am excited to serve the Fairbanks community—my adopted home— as a member of the assembly.

I moved to Fairbanks in 2009 to join the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. From 2009 – 2018, I worked as a professor of mathematics, teaching mathematics courses ranging from college algebra all the way up to graduate courses, in addition to doing research in mathematics and serving on university committees. As a mathematician, my research area is discrete geometry. I began serving as Interim Dean of the College of Natural Science and Mathematics in the summer of 2018, supervising the departments of Atmospheric Sciences, Biology & Wildlife, Chemistry, Geophysics, Mathematics & Statistics, Physics, Veterinary Medicine, and the School of Education.

Walking to school in the Fairbanks winter

Walking to school in the Fairbanks winter

My husband Gordon Williams, who grew up in Alaska, is also a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. We have two daughters, ages 10 and 13, who go to University Park Elementary and Ryan Middle School, respectively. Before that, they attended Enep'ut Children's Center and Bunnell House. I have sung in choirs for 20 years, including singing locally with the Choir of the North and with the Coventry Carolers. I enjoy making jelly and pickles, and gardening inexpertly. My family and I are members of a number of local organizations, including the University Park PTA, the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks, the Folk School Fairbanks (where my husband is serving as President of the Board), and Congregation Or Hatzafon, and I was a member from 2009 – 2018 of United Academics AAUP / AFT – Local 4996; I recently left the union to take on management duties. My daughters joined the girl scouts two years ago, and are having a great time!

I grew up in Springfield, Illinois, where my parents and grandmother live; my sister and her family live in Colorado, and I also have family living in Pennsylvania, Oregon and Arkansas. Before joining the faculty at UAF, I worked for 7 years at Ursinus College, in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, in the Department of Mathematical Sciences. I received an MS (2001) and PhD (2002) from the University of Washington, in mathematics, and a BA (1997) from Lewis & Clark College in Portland Oregon, in mathematics and philosophy.



Local leadership positions:

  • 2010 - 2011: Board member, Enep'ut Children's Center.

  • 2017 - 2018: FNSB School District Curriculum Advisory Committee.

  • 2013 - 2015: United Academics AAUP / AFT – Local 4996 Representative Assembly member.

  • 2009 - present: Many university committees, including the UAF General Education Revitalization Committee, the UA Statewide General Education Task Force and the Joint Health Care Committee.

  • 2016 - 2018: Chair, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, UAF

  • 2018 – present: Interim Dean of the College of Natural Science and Mathematics

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