Bachelor of Science, Yale University, 1964. Doctor of Philosophy in Biology, Yale University, 1971. Doctor of Science (honorary), Colorado State University, 1989.
Doctor of Science (honorary), Williams College, 1990. Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), Lynn University, 1991.
Co-chairman premedical advisory board University Pennsylvania, 1971-1972. Executive assistant to science director Academy Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, 1972-1973, assistant to vice president for resources and planning, 1972-1973. Program director World Wildlife Fund-United States, Washington, 1973-1978, vice president for science, 1978-1985, executive vice president, 1985-1987.
Assistant secretary environmental & external affairs Smithsonian Institution, 1987-1994, counselor to secretary for biodiversity and environmental affairs, 1995. Chief biodiversity advisory World Bank, lead specialist environmental Latin American and Caribbean. Special advisory to president United Nations Foundation.
President The Heinz Center, Washington, since 2002. Science advisor to Secretary Interior, 1993. Board directors Manhattan Life Insurance Company, New York City, chairman executive committee, 1982-1987, director, since 1986.
Research associate in ornithology Academy Natural Sciences, since 1971. Board directors Wildlife Preservation Trust International, since 1974. Board directors Henry Foundation for Botanical Research, since 1975.
Principal advisor Minimum Critical Size of Ecosys. Project, since 1979; member commission ecology International Union for Conservation of Nature, since 1980. Founder, advisor Nature series Station W National Educational Television, since 1980.
Visiting lecturer on tropical ecology Yale University School Forestry and Environmental Studies, 1982.
Member Smithsonian Council, 1982-1987. Trustee Millbrook School, New York, since 1971, Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, since 1983, Academy Natural Sciences Philadelphia, since 1987, The Ozone Society, since 1990. Member United States-Brazil panel White House Office of Science and Technology, Washington, 1986-1987.
Past chairman United States Man and Biosphere Committee, since 1987. Treasurer, member executive committee Science Committee on Problems of the Environmental, 1988-1991. Secretary Jean Paul Getty Wildlife Conservation prize, Washington, 1974-1987, jury member since 1988.
Member advisory & technical board Fundacion Neotropica and de Parques Nacional, Costa Rica, since 1987. Member White House Science Council, executive office President, 1988-1990. Member President's Council Advisors in Science & Technology, 1990-1992.
Director Rainforest Alliance, since 1988. Member science council FPCN (Conservation Foundation, Peru), since 1988. Member advisory board American Society Protection Nature Israel, since 1988.
Co-principal investigator World Wildlife Fund/INPA, North Manaus, Brazil, since 1979. Board governors New York Botanical Garden, New York City, since 1986. Director Center for Plant Conservation, since 1987.
Board directors Fundacion Maquipucuna, Ecuador, since 1988, Resources for the Future, since 1989, World Resources Institute, since 1989, Peruvian Cultural Center, since 1989. Fellow American Association for the Advancement of Science (wildlife panel 1981), New York Zoological Society, Linnean Society London, American Ornithologists Union. Member American Institute Biological Sciences (board directors since 1989, president 1991-1992), Ecological Society of America, British Ecological Society, British Ornithologists Union, Cooper Ornithological Society, Society Study of Evolution, International Union for Conservation of Nature (species survival commission), Society for Conservation Biology (governor 1986-1989, president 1989-1991), Century Club, Cosmos Club, Knickerbocker Club, New Haven Lawn Club.
Married Charlotte Seymour, 1966 (divorced 1978). Children: Elizabeth Paige and Katherine Seymour (twins), Anne Williams.