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Research interests

Social Philosophy

Social enablement theory of justice | Social ethics & economic growth | Moral sources of

social & political conflict | Democracy & business | Duties of citizenship

Philosophy of Business

Corporate justice responsibility | Business strategy & ethics | Ethics & corporate risk management |

Corporate reparations | Ethics of management consulting | Ethical leadership

Philosophy of Being

Suffering & meaning | Positive psychology | Spirituality & creativity | Spirituality & social peace | Biocentrism

Current appointments (part-time)


Research Associate, Porter Diplomacy Centre, Hertford College

  • Leading research in business, democracy and peace

Tutor, St Catherine's College

  • Teach Business Strategy & Ethics to visiting undergraduate students 

Seminar Leader, Blavatnik School of Government

  • Teach Political Philosophy & Public Policy to masters students

Past roles

UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD, UK                                                                                                                       

Tutor, Department of Politics and International Relations

  • Taught Advanced Paper in Theories of Justice to PPE students

UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN, South Africa                                                                                                      

Senior Lecturer, Graduate School of Business                                                                                           

  • Taught Company Analysis to MBA students, covering financial, strategic and operational analysis for an actual company. Students produced a report of analysis and improvement recommendations. 

  • Taught Ethical Decision-Making to postgraduate diploma and Executive Education students.

  • Designed Management Consulting specialization stream for MBA students.

Visiting Lecturer, Graduate School of Business                                                                                             

  • Taught Strategy to Executive Education students

  • External examiner for MBA Strategy course

UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND, South Africa                                                               

Adjunct Professor, School of Governance; Business School

  • Taught Corporate Finance to MBA students


UNIVERSITY OF STELLENBOSCH, South Africa                                                                              

Research Fellow, Centre for Applied Ethics, Philosophy Department

  • Member of PROSPER (Promoting Social & Political Ethics Research)


Academic Journals & Book Chapters


Williams, A., “Ranking Agents of Justice: When Should the Corporation Act?St Antony's International Review, vol. 14, no. 1, 2018, pp. 83-102.


Williams, A., “Prose and Poetry: Shining light on the popular imagination of the idea of South Africa,” in The Contested Idea of South Africa, edited by Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni & Busani Ngcaweni, 2022, Routledge, Abingdon.

Journal Papers under Review


Williams, A., “All Hands on Deck: Why All Companies, Not Only Pharmaceutical Companies, Bear Responsibility To Fight TB,” Submitted to: The Lancet as part of the journal’s Philosophy and Health Series.

Professional Journals


Williams, A., “The Responsible Company: Identifying and prioritising corporate responsibilities,”

                      The Corporate Report, vol. 9, no. 2, 2019

Williams, A., “The Responsible Company,” Accountancy SA, November 2019


Williams, A., “Lower Financial Results: Market Slowdown or Poor Management?,” Management Today, vol. 25, no. 5, 2009


Williams, A., “Strategy Implementation Requires Bold Leadership,” Management Today, vol.23, no.2, 2007


Public-Interest Reports


Williams, A., “How Companies Involved in State Capture Can Make Amends for Harm Caused,” Submitted to the SA State Capture Commission, 2021


Williams, A., “Bain and the Weakening of SARS,” Submitted to the Nugent Commission of Inquiry, 2018



DPhil       UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD, Regents Park College, Political Philosophy, Expected 2023

                My research seeks to expand the scope of CSR to include duties of justice, particularly the positive duty for

                corporations to engage in extra-commercial activities to remedy and prevent structural injustice.   

MPhil       UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD, Hertford College, Political Theory, 2017

                Thesis: Corporations and Justice: Toward a Theory of Corporate Justice Responsibility



                Thesis: People or Profit? Corporations’ Moral Responsibility to Constrain

                Profit-Seeking Practices in the Presence of Group Discrimination.            

                Awarded prize for Best Thesis in Political Theory

MPA        HARVARD UNIVERSITY, Kennedy School of Government, Public Administration, 2013

                Fellow, Edward S. Mason Program in Public Policy and Management

                Awarded Lucius N. Littauer Award

MSc        LONDON BUSINESS SCHOOL, Finance, 1999

               Major in corporate finance and valuation


MBA       MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, Sloan School of Management, 1996

               Major in strategic management and consulting


BSc        UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND, Mechanical Engineering, 1992

University Service

UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND, South Africa                                                                

  • Director, Wits Enterprise – university-owned company charged with IP commercialisation

  • Advisory Board, Wits Centre for Entrepreneurship – research and teaching entrepreneurship

  • Elected Member, University Convocation – served on Executive Committee for full term


athol williams

Harvard University, Mason Fellows Ceremony, Boston, 2013

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CFO Indaba, Sandton, 2019

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Cape Town Press Club, 2021

Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, 2019

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The Ethics Society Conference,

Johannesburg, 2019


Actuarial Society of South Africa, Sandton, 2017

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Milpark Business School, Graduation Speaker, 2021


AFDA Durban, Virtual Graduation Speaker, 2021


International Perspectives Conference, Principia College, St Louis, MO, 2021


  • ‘After the Scandal: An Ethics-based Approach to Corporate Reparations’ UCT, 2019

  • ‘Getting it Right: A Corporate Responsibility Framework’, UCT, 2019

  • ‘Value creation in a responsible manner’ Good Governance Academy, 2019

  • ‘Building Ethically-Responsible Organisations’ The Ethics Institute, 2019

  • Keynote Address, Graduation Ceremony, Salesians Institute Youth Projects, Cape Town, 2018

  • Guest Speaker, Salesians Institute Youth Projects, Cape Town, 2018

  • Keynote Address, Actuarial Society of South Africa, Johannesburg, 2017

  • Keynote Speaker, Glitz and the Ritz, Salvation Army, Sarasota FL, USA, 2017

  • Keynote Address, Old Mutual Staff Volunteerism Awards, Cape Town, 2017

  • Keynote Address, Engineering Faculty Awards, University of Cape Town, 2017

  • Speaker, Gender (Dis)parity Report Launch, Bain & Company, Johannesburg, 2017

  • Talk, 'Grounds for corporate moral responsibility,' Said Business School, Oxford, 2017 

  • Talk, 'Corporations and Justice,' Africa Society Symposium, Oxford, 2017


Finance Indaba, Sandton, 2019

Actuarial Society of South Africa, Sandton, 2017

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