William Bila, freelance consultant and adviser at the European Roma Rights Centre on partnerships and network development, was born in New York City as the son of Czechoslovak citizens who had fled the Soviet invasion of August 1968 (which led to the end of the Prague Spring). He discovered his Romani heritage in late childhood. The product of a multicultural North American upbringing, he has always been proud of and curious about his roots. Joining the Roma Community Centre in Toronto, Canada in 2008 was a turning point in his activism.
Since then, he has been involved in various organisations promoting Romani culture, education, history, resistance and rights. He currently holds several voluntary offices, including president of La Voix des Rroms (France) and member of the board of the Roma Education Fund (Switzerland), the Roma Education Support Trust (UK) and the Center for Intersectional Justice (Germany). He took part in the first and second European LGBTIQ Roma Conference in Prague (2015–16).
Bila graduated with a BSc in finance and international business from the Stern School of Business at New York University and received an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. After working for twenty-five years in private-sector consultancy, corporate strategy and human resources, he joined the RomArchive project in December 2016 as a part-time on-line communications manager and the European Roma Rights Centre in September 2017 as full-time adviser on partnerships and network development.