David Wilkins > Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP > Washington DC, United States > Lawyer Profile

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP
United States




Ambassador David Wilkins chairs Nelson Mullins’ 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 board of United Community Bank.

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.



  • 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
  • Served as President of the National Speakers’ Association in 2001
  • State Chairman of the Bush-Cheney ‘04 campaign and Co-Chair of the campaign in 2000
  • Appointed by President Bush to the Board of Visitors of the United States Academy at West Point in 2002 and served for three years
  • Member, Clemson University Board of Trustees (2007-present, Chairman of the Board 2009-2015)
  • Board of Directors, United Community Banks, Inc.
  • Board of Directors, Greenville Chamber of Commerce
  • Served as Governor Nikki Haley’s government transition team chair in 2010


University of South Carolina School of Law, Clemson University

Lawyer Rankings

United States > Government > Government relations

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP’s public policy team is mainly housed in Washington DC, but it also has a presence at state level in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Massachusetts. Dennis Wicker and David Wilkins jointly lead the practice. Wilkins, former US ambassador to Canada who has a special focus on US-Canada relations, helped the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers to obtain approval for the TransCanada’s KXL pipeline by the Trump administration, which was rejected under the previous administration. Robert Crowe lobbies on behalf of the government of Qatar, specifically advising on domestic trade missions, the blockade and charitable contributions in the US. Other clients include technology company Weedmaps, Korean company Hyosung and Newsmax Media.