Saturday, December 11, 2010
SC State University graduates will hear from Rick C. Wade, senior advisor and deputy chief of staff to Secretary of Commerce, Gary Locke, during the Fall 2010 Commencement Ceremony. The ceremony will be held on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010 at 9 a.m. in the Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center.
As a senior aide and spokesman for Locke, Wade has a hand in all major policy and personnel decisions at the Commerce Department. Wade helps develop and manage the Commerce Department’s annual budgets and programs for all 12 of the department’s bureaus. In addition, he is integrally involved with the creation of new regulations that impact the Commerce Department’s diverse activities, advocating for legislative priorities on Capitol Hill, and relationships and communications with external stakeholders including other federal agencies, states, businesses, trade associations, as well as faith, minority and Native American communities.
Since joining the Commerce Department, Wade has been a forceful advocate for the department’s priorities at many domestic and international forums, including the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade, the African Growth and Opportunity Act Forum and the Conference on the Caribbean and Central America. He also actively leads Commerce Department efforts related to the rebuilding of Haiti. Additionally, Wade works closely with the White House to ensure President Obama’s business and economic programs, including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, are implemented effectively and efficiently. A White House mentor and at-Large member of the Democratic National Committee, he is also a member of The White House Auto-Recovery Task Force, Task Force on Puerto Rico, Interagency Business Council and the Vice President’s Middle Class Task Force.
Prior to his appointment at the Commerce Department, Wade was a key advisor to the Obama for America presidential campaign in the early primary states of Iowa and South Carolina, and he successfully directed the campaign’s effort to mobilize unprecedented numbers of African-American voters across the country. After the successful 2008 election, Wade served as a senior advisor to the presidential transition team.
Wade is a former executive at Palmetto GBA, a subsidiary of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina. Prior to working for BlueCross BlueShield, he was a member of the Cabinet of South Carolina governor, Jim Hodges. In his cabinet post, he served as state director of the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services. Wade has worked as a senior associate for Fowler Communications Inc. in Columbia, S.C., and prior to that for Hoffman-La Roche Inc. in Atlanta, Ga., where he was a senior government affairs manager.
A native of South Carolina, Wade began his career in the South Carolina State House where he worked as an analyst for the House Ways and Means Committee. He then worked for the University of South Carolina (USC) in Columbia, S.C. and then as chief of staff to the South Carolina lieutenant governor.
Wade received a Bachelor of Science degree from USC and a Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. where he was also a Kennedy Fellow. He has studied at both the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Ga. and Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.
Among his many community affiliations, Wade has served as a trustee for the Sisters of Charity Foundation and as chairman of the board for the Columbia, S.C. Urban League, the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families and the USC Educational Opportunity Center. He has received numerous awards for exemplary public service and leadership.