William McWilliams is a doctoral student in the department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at Virginia Tech University. He is currently working on a research project under Dr. Olga Massa and Dr. Shamar Stewart focused on evaluating and improving the performance of current methods for forecasting food price inflation. He is also an agricultural commodity analyst for the Virgnia Tech-based Commodities Investing by Students (COINS), the only student-managed commodity fund in the United States.
William earned a B.S. in finance from Louisiana Tech University. After graduation, he worked for the United States Peace Corps for two years as a community economic development volunteer in Timor-Leste. Working closely with agricultural cooperatives, he assisted in the design and implementation of programs that addressed key impediments to local markets such as supply chain inefficiencies, balanced market powers, and environmental risk management.
At the peak of the pandemic, he served for two years as an EMT and professional firefighter. Following this time, he worked for a year as a graduate research assistant in Louisiana Tech University’s department of economics and finance where he contributed to research projects focused on the relationship between national culture and the performance of country innovation systems, and the implementation and effectiveness of government disaster relief programs.