Taste Test with Whitney Williams

Photo by David Wentworth

Political heavy-hitter Whitney Williams has creativity in her blood.

In 2013, an Elle magazine profile described Whitney Williams as “a political animal in heels.” Colorful, yes, but hardly the whole picture. Williams was born into politics—her father was Montana’s sole Congressman, her mother, the Majority leader of the State Senate—and for the last 12 years her Fremont-based williamsworks consulting group has assisted corporations, non-profits and foundations making social impact around the world. She also co-founded Eastern Congo Initiative with Ben Affleck. But with a brother who’s an artist and gallery owner in San Francisco and a cousin who was one of the best-known stuntmen in history, the 43-year-old Seattleite also has creativity in her blood.

 Sweet Tooth
“A big part of the work Ben Affleck and I are doing with Eastern Congo Initiative is with cocoa farmers. We found extraordinarily high-quality cocoa that wasn’t getting out of the country. Some the work we do is around economic development, and we partnered with Theo Chocolate a few years ago and now every Theo chocolate bar has Congolese cocoa in it.”

Brotherly Love
“My brother Griff owns Gallery 16 in San Francisco, so I have a spectacular art collection. There’s an artist named Rex Ray who recently passed away and his work is some of the most special contemporary art on the planet.” 

Crash Course
“Those in our late 30s and 40s remember Evel Knievel. Well, he’s my cousin! An Oscar-winning director named Daniel Junge made an incredible documentary called Being Evel. It played at SIFF and it’s about my family. It should be coming back to Seattle in September.”

Carrying On
“I travel about 275 days a year, maybe more, and I’m obsessed with my suitcase. It’s made by a European company called Rimowa and it’s feather-light. You can fit so much stuff into it.”