Williams is a veteran, award-winning investigative reporter who specializes in data-driven journalism. She is currently a senior investigative reporter and trainer at the New England Center for Investigative Reporting and a contributor to The New York Times. Her work has appeared in many outlets such as the Center for Public Integrity, inewsource, the San Diego Union-Tribune, KPBS, ABC World News and the New Republic. She wrote a chapter in "The Buying of the President 2004," a national bestseller, and built the first nationwide database of allegations local prosecutorial misconduct in 2002 to help report and write "Harmful Error: Investigating America's local prosecutors." Williams' work to hold the powerful accountable has prompted multiple investigations, including a federal criminal probe into contractors hired to haul away debris after wildfires ravaged San Diego County in 2007. She won the George Polk Award in 2004 and was a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists in 2005 and the Investigative Reporters and Editors Award in 2012.
During her fellowship, Williams investigated think tanks, building the first database to track money they receive from corporations and foreign governments and shedding light on how some partner to try and influence public policy and opinion. In 2014-15, as a fellow with the Project on Public Narrative directed by Ron Suskind, Williams continued her reporting on think tanks as well as launched a nationwide, data-driven investigation of federal prosecutors.