It is with great sadness that we inform you of the unexpected passing of our dear friend and colleague Madeline Claire Williams (56) in Sodwana Bay, South Africa on April 3, 2021. Preceded in death by her mother Janet Williams, Madeline is survived by her loving husband and life-long partner Jorge Delgado and children Jordan, Jesse and Jaydn; father, The Honorable Charles H. Williams, Jr.; siblings Chuck (Rachel), Paul (Mickey), and Daniel; many loving (and duly- mentored) nieces and nephews, favorite aunts and uncles and countless cousins, “sister-friends” and a truly world-wide family.
Madeline was born in Saint Paul and grew up in the Summit-University/Rondo neighborhoods. She graduated from Breck High School in 1982, where her athletic and leadership skills were recognized with an Athena Award and 2016 induction into the Breck School Athletic Hall of Fame. Madeline graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in International Studies. Her graduate work at the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs also focused on International Affairs, preparing her for a distinguished career in the Foreign Service. Madeline brought her passion for democracy, human rights, and diversity/inclusion to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), working across the globe to build local capacity and raising her family in a wide range of cultures, including posts in Burkina-Faso, Peru, Ghana, and Egypt. She also worked extensively throughout the Caribbean. Most recently, Madeline was posted in Pretoria, South Africa, working to bring electrical power to millions in sub-Saharan Africa.
Friends and colleagues across the world will remember her passion, commitment, rigor and deep love of family and friendships. Madeline was a teacher and a mentor wherever she lived and worked. Her zest for life and exploration was contagious. As one colleague noted, she was “all-in” on whatever was before her. In the words of the Bahamian spiritual, Madeline, “We Bid you Goodnight.” The family has a virtual condolence book, which will be sent to her family.