Hi there. I’m Willys. There are two versions of my biography on this page:
The shorter version
- Writer and content strategist
- Lives in San Francisco
- First book arrives late 2017
- Stanford graduate (Bachelor’s and Master’s, both in English)
- Eagle Scout
The longer version
I’m a professional writer and content strategist. My first book of fiction is scheduled for release in late 2017.
I currently work at Airbnb as the product content strategist for search. Before starting at Airbnb in May 2017, I worked at Google as the lead content strategist and UX writer for Google My Business. I spoke on behalf of Google at search and marketing conferences around the country, like Local U and MozCon Local. I’ve also worked as a technical writer and content developer on Google for Work. In the past, I worked for Major League Baseball Advanced Media in communications, and at the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis, where I contributed to research in the Literary Lab.
At Stanford, I graduated with an M.A. in English in 2014, and a B.A. in English with honors and distinction in 2013. As an undergrad, I took a concentration in creative writing and a minor in philosophy. During my senior year, I wrote an honors thesis on the generic and political hybridity of allegory in Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, and the project won the Marie Louise Rosenberg Prize.
In October 2012, I represented Stanford University at the 2012 Mr. and Mrs. Robert A. McDonald Cadet Leadership Conference at the United States Military Academy at West Point. The op-ed on global education reform that I wrote for our group appeared in The New York Times Spotlight on Leaders initiative in January 2013.
I also spent Trinity Term 2012 at the University of Oxford, where I read contemporary political philosophy and took additional coursework in early modern English theater and creative writing.
I studied saxophone with David Henderson at Stanford; am an alumnus and former Vice President, Service at Zeta Chapter of the national, co-ed service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega; served on the Stanford Undergraduate Philosophy Association Executive Board; and volunteered as a mentor in the Phoenix Scholars program on campus.
Ventures and leadership
I founded and served as editor-in-chief at The Daily Axe, an independent Stanford sports website and affiliate of the YardBarker Network. My editorial work for The Daily Axe has been featured by outlets including Fox Sports and ESPN.com.
For a year, I led Stanford 6th Man as Managing Director. During my time at the helm, we carried out a rebranding campaign that placed the new 6th Man logo at the center of campus consciousness, and increased student attendance over the previous season despite fewer marquee home games and a drastically reduced operating budget.
Updated May 8, 2017