President Willard Wyndham tried to keep a cool head at a time of potential panic, when the missing spacecraft suddenly reappeared in 1973. Initially suspecting that it had been captured by the Soviets and re-manned by them, he advised that the matter be kept from the public and the occupants be dealt with in a courteous manner. On discovering the Apes inside, President Willard launched an official inquiry. In spite of strong pressure from his scientific advisor Dr Hasslein that the Apes should be sterilized or executed to eliminate any threat, he maintained for as long as he reasonably could that they were guests rather than prisoners.
- The President was named as Willard Wyndham, a play on William Windom's name, in the 2018 novel Death of the Planet of the Apes. The novel also mentioned that he succeeded Barry Goldwater as President.
- A fan-produced reproduction of the Presidential Commission's Briefing Dossier gave the President the name Matthew Williams.