Zak is CEO and co-founder of anxiety relief neurotransmitter nutrition company PYM and is an investor in technology and consumer packaged goods companies. Formerly, he was COO of the recommendation platform Crossing Minds, the Director of Business Development for media company Condé Nast, and the marketing lead for gaming and media platform N3TWORK.
Zak is a U.S. trustee of United for Global Mental Health and board member of mental health awareness and advocacy non-profit, Bring Change 2 Mind, founded by Glenn Close. He is an advisor for Inseparable, a national organization innovating pragmatic mental health policy and a board member for Yerba Buena Center of the Arts, where he focuses on guiding the organizations' strategy and business development initiatives.
In 2020, Zak was proud to be key note speaker at a reception at the United Nations General Assembly where he announced the launch the #SpeakYourMind campaign, a global mental health movement intended to amplify the needs of underserved communities, too often unseen and unheard.
In 2021 Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry featured Zak’s life journey including the pain of loss, grief, recovery, and living with anxiety along with those of others including Lady Gaga and Prince Harry in a ground breaking documentary series on Apple TV+ entitled “The Me You Can’t See”.
In 2022, Zak and Congressman Seth Moulton, co-chair of the House Armed Services Committee’s Future of Defense Task Force authored, “How 988 Will Transform America’s Approach to Mental Health” for Time Magazine. Currently, Zak is the co-executive producer with Lemonada Media of the podcast series, “Call For Help”, examining the promise and perils of the new 988 Hotline. The Office of the Secretary, US Dept. of Health and Human Services and SAMHSA just engaged Zak to be featured in PSA’s launching the 988 initiative nationwide.
Zak earned an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA in Linguistics from New York University.
From Pain to Purpose
“From Pain to Purpose" is an enlightening speech by mental health advocate Zak Williams where he shares his deeply personal journey of grappling with the devastating loss of his father, Robin Williams, and his own struggles with anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Zak reflects on the transformative power of discovering inner strength through vulnerability, and how this experience has propelled him to a newfound purpose: advocating for mental health awareness and reform. Within the talk, Zak underscores the vital role of mental hygiene, stressing the need for daily rituals that encompass balanced nutrition, regular physical activity, practicing mindfulness, engaging in meditation, and fostering a supportive community – because it's in these small, consistent acts we find our strength, hope, and resilience.
The Power of Comedy, Community, and Connection
- A Conversation with Zak Williams
Zak Williams speaks about the incredibly tough journey he faced battling his own depression and anxiety, especially in the wake of his father’s death. Williams advises anyone in a dark place to seek connection with people, find community support programs such as talk therapy and avoid self-medicating.
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