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David H. Wilkins

David H. Wilkins

David H. Wilkins

The Honorable David H. Wilkins earned a bachelor’s degree in History cum laude from Clemson University in 1968. A graduate of Greenville High School, Ambassador Wilkins came to Clemson on a tennis scholarship.

After serving in the United States Army, he attended law school at the University of South Carolina. He was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1980, serving as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and Speaker Pro Tem before becoming Speaker of the House in 1994.

This made Wilkins the first Republican speaker of the South Carolina legislature since the 1880s. As Speaker of the House, he oversaw the removal of the Confederate flag from the South Carolina Statehouse in 2000.

In 2005, President George W. Bush chose Wilkins to be the U.S. Ambassador to Canada. He served as ambassador until 2009, during which time he helped resolve several trade issues.

He also worked on energy policy, environmental issues and national security. In 2010 he headed the transition team for newly elected South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.

David Wilkins is the recipient of many statewide honors and awards, including the Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest honor. He is a member of the Clemson University Board of Trustees, and served as Chairman of the Board for six years.

He was previously recognized by Clemson with an honorary doctorate in the Humanities in 2003. He is currently a partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough Law Firm in Greenville, S.C.