Oliver Williamson joined the Boalt faculty in 1988, having taught economics at UC Berkeley until 1965 when he joined the economics faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and served as director of the Center for the Study of Organizational Innovation. He has been a distinguished visiting professor or lecturer at various universities in England, Japan, Finland and China, and the University of Pittsburgh, Haverford College, Brigham Young University, Temple University, Rice University, Texas A&M University, Harvard University and the University of Wisconsin. He was the Gordon B. Tweedy Professor of Economics of Law and Organization at Yale University and the Pritzker Distinguished Visiting Professor at Northwestern University Law School.
Williamson has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He completed his term as president of the American Law and Economic Association in May 1998 and began his term as president-elect of the Western Economic Association in June 1998. He has served as president of the International Society for New Institutional Economics.