Brother Thomas Williams, S.J. was born in Reading, PA, and entered the Society of Jesus in September 1967, following his graduation from Reading Central Catholic High School. In 1974 he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from The George Washington University; he received his Masters of Arts in Education from the same institution in 1982.
From 1974-1983 he taught Asian, African and United States History at Gonzaga College High School, Washington, D.C., where he was the co-founder and director of the Social Action Program, and chairperson of the Social Studies Department. In addition to his teaching duties he was the manager of the bookstore, moderator of the stage crew, and football and baseball coach.
From 1983-1987, Br. Williams worked with the Jesuit Refugee Service and the United Nations in refugee camps along the Thai/Cambodian border. There he was co-founder and director of the Technical Training School for the Disabled, which served more than 4,000 men and women who had been disabled as a result of land mines and the war in Cambodia.
In addition to his work as director of the School, he was the United Nations Security Officer for the Refugee camp. The camp had a refugee population of approximately 120,000 and an expatriate work force of 250; Br. Williams was responsible for the safety of the expatriates working in the camp. Due to the volatile military situation along the Thai-Cambodian border as a result of the ongoing war between the Cambodian rebels encamped along the border and the Vietnamese Army that occupied Cambodia, the United Nations had a security officer in each camp to monitor the expatriates working in the camps. The position entailed determining the level of safety of the camp, keeping track of the location of all the expatriates, and in case of military action, supervising the evacuation of all workers from the camp.
He returned to the US in 1987, and for the next two years served as the director of The Father McKenna Center in Washington, D.C., the social service center of St. Aloysius Church that works with the poor and homeless of the Washington area. His duties as director, in addition to direct service to the people who came to the Center, dealt with fundraising, staff management, financial planning and budgeting.
In 1989 he returned to Thailand to serve as the Treasurer of the Thailand Region of the Society of Jesus and Minister of Xavier Hall, Bangkok. His duties as Treasurer of the Thailand Region included management of the Region investments and budgeting. At Xavier Hall he was in charge of finances, budgeting, physical plant, employees and other duties related to the job of Minister of the Jesuit Community. In addition to his work with the Thailand Region and Xavier Hall he worked with the Jesuit Refugee Service in helping to computerize their office. He also worked with various organizations, including JRS, with prison ministries and social services in the slums of Bangkok.
Returning again to the US, from 1993 – 2000 he served as Treasurer and Business Manager Weston Jesuit School of Theology, Cambridge, MA. His duties at Weston Jesuit included managing the finances, developing and administering the annual budget, developing and overseeing plans for capital maintenance, and ongoing care and maintenance of the physical plant and maintaining the computer network and telephone system.
From 2000 – 2002 he worked at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as Assistant Director of Information Technology. His duties were to oversee the University telephone system, the student ID card system and the Information Technology budget. From 2002 – 2004 he was the Treasurer and Facility Manager of the Loyola Retreat House, Faulkner Maryland. From 2004 – 2008 he was Minister of the Jesuit Community at Loyola University Chicago. And from 2008 – 2014 he served as Minister and Facility Manager of the Jesuit Center in Wernersville, PA.
Since 2015, he has been Minister and Treasurer of the Jesuit Community of the Vatican Observatory, and Treasurer and Assistant to the President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation.