Tech graduate follows Jindal to office

November 8, 2007

by Mary Nash

Governor-elect Bobby Jindal has named Trey Williams communications director for the governor’s office.

Williams, a Tech alumnus and former Tech Talk editor, formerly served as communications director for Jindal’s congressional run and as deputy press secretary for former Gov. Mike Foster.

“It is truly an honor to be in this position,” Williams said. “It is an exciting time in the state of Louisiana.”

Wiley Hilburn, department head of journalism, said Williams has come a long way since his days at Tech.

“I could not be prouder of Trey,” Hilburn said. “He has been the point man for two governors and been right in the heat of both campaigns, doing a really fine job in both.”

Hilburn said Williams earned his respect while working for The Tech Talk.

“He was an outstanding editor of The Tech Talk but also a really kind and gentle guy,” Hilburn said.

Williams said Tech prepared him in a number of ways for what he has accomplished.

“Tech’s journalism program, as well as the faculty, in general, provided me a great knowledge for what I have been able to do,” Williams said. “Tech offers a great sense of family.”

Williams said that sense of family carries on today.

“Even in the workforce, on an almost daily basis I meet or see someone that has a connection to Tech,” Williams said. “That is actually one of the reasons I chose to go to Tech. I liked that I could walk across campus and see someone I know.”

Williams said after leaving Tech he went, on a whim, to Washington, D.C.

“I didn’t have a job or place of my own,” Williams said. “I packed up my bags and stayed with a friend until I could find a job.”

Williams said there was just something about the nation’s capital that drew him in.

“From the first time I visited D.C., I vividly remember standing awestruck at the Capitol, the White House and the monuments,” Williams said. “From there, I became involved with campus activities in high school, and when I got to Tech, I joined College Republicans.”

Williams said after some time in Washington, D.C., he was just looking for a break into politics.

“While in Washington, a good friend of mine from Tech was working for Congressman Jim McCrery, Republican representative of Louisiana, at the time,” Williams said. “She found out about an upcoming job opening and gave me a heads up. That’s where I got my start. I was a legislative correspondent, which meant I was responsible for making sure letters were answered.”

After 1996, Williams left Washington, D.C., to return to Louisiana to pursue a master’s degree at Louisiana State University-Baton Rouge.

“At the time, there was a great deal of partisanship in Washington and nothing was getting accomplished, so I decided to pack up and come back home,” Williams said.

Upon graduating from LSU, Williams began working for Foster as deputy press secretary.

After six years with Foster, Williams made the transition to working with Jindal on Jindal’s first gubernatorial campaign.

“In 2003, I was able to have the opportunity to be press secretary for the campaign,” Williams said. “In that race, we were able to receive 48 percent of the vote from starting the election at only about 2 percent of the vote. We were able to overcome a great deal and learn a lot in that election.”

Jindal went on in 2004 to run for and win a seat in Congress and Williams was named communications director in the congressional office.

“In the congressional office, there is a lot more working with the press one-on-one. Now, I will oversee communication for the governor’s office to make sure that we are communicating with voters and really getting our message out.”

Williams said he is excited for what lies ahead for the future of Louisiana.
“Louisiana really voted for a change, and I am honored to be a part of bringing that change.”