Russell Williams, a native Californian, is a graduate of the University of Southern California, earning a bachelor’s degree of the arts in 1968. He completed a master’s degree in education from California State University in Los Angeles while teaching the educationally handicapped in South El Monte, Calif., from 1970-1973. In the mid-1970s, he experienced two years of post-graduate education in theological studies before beginning a 23-year professional career in church ministry in 1973.
A life skills educator and minister for 35 years, Williams brings a rich professional background in public speaking, teaching and spiritual life discovery to the seven ethical edge integrity life-values assets that guide the foundation’s programs.
Those life values are: personal responsibility, positive self-worth, purpose, plan, paying the price, partnership and persistence.
Williams is the founder and president of Passkeys Foundation, a publicly supported nonprofit organization created in 1979.
Since 1996 under Williams' full-time leadership, Passkeys has developed a variety of innovative values and character education programs for children, youth, parents and the business and professional community. In 2009, these included: the Ethical Edge Leaders of Integrity Awards program honoring moral excellence in American society; the Ethical Edge Forum; the Integrity Workshop; the Ethical Edge Podcast Interviews; the Orange County Middle Schools "Laws of Life" Essay Contest; O.C. High Schools Performance Character Grants; and the 7 Parenting Promises Workshop.
Williams writes the "Lessons on Integrity" column for community newspapers in El Monte and Boston. He published his first book in the fall of 2008, "Kids of Character: One Minute Mentoring Messages."
Williams serves on the Advisory Board of the Orange County Department of Education’s Character Education Institute (ICE). Additionally, he is a member of the Front Porch Ethics Board.
The foundation is a member of the national CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition and the Character Education Partnership.
Williams and his wife, Judy, have been married 41 years. They have four adult children and two grandchildren and reside in Mission Viejo.