David H. Wilkins

T: 864.373.2231
F: 864.373.2925
Poinsett Plaza, Suite 900
104 South Main Street
Greenville, SC 29601
101 Constitution Avenue, NW
Suite 900
Washington, D.C. 20001
T: 202.689.2829

Ambassador David Wilkins is a partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP and chairs the Public Policy and International Law practice group with a special focus on U.S.- Canada interests. He proudly served as U.S. ambassador to Canada from June 2005 to January 2009, appointed by President George W. Bush. Since returning home from Canada, Ambassador Wilkins spent six years chairing the Clemson University Board of Trustees and remains an active member of that board. He also sits on the boards of Porter Airlines, Mattamy Homes and Resolute Forest Products. In 2010, then South Carolina's Governor-elect Nikki Haley tapped Wilkins to chair her government transition team. First elected in 1980, Ambassador Wilkins served 25 years in the South Carolina House of Representatives.  He was elected speaker in 1994 – a position he held for 11 years until he resigned for his ambassadorship post. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the state's highest honor, the Order of the Palmetto. Ambassador Wilkins is married to Susan Wilkins, and they have two grown sons and two grandchildren.  


  • As ambassador, helped resolve issues between Canada and the United States, including the decades-old softwood lumber trade dispute
  • Worked on issues such as energy, national security, the environment, trade, and travel
  • Practiced law for 34 years in Greenville, South Carolina, before assuming ambassadorship and has extensive experience in civil litigation and appellate law

Leadership Positions

  • Elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1980 and served there for 25 years
  • Served six years as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and two years as Speaker Pro Tem before being elected Speaker of the House, a post he held for 11 years
  • First Republican elected Speaker of any legislative body in the South since the 1880s and retired as one of the longest serving speakers in the country