COLUMBIA, SC – September 2, 2009 – Two titans of business, law and government who have led South Carolina into new global directions will be the recipients of the 2009 Global Vision Award presented by the Columbia World Affairs Council.
Ambassadors Robert V. Royall Jr. and David Wilkins will be honored with the prestigious award during a black-tie gala on October 27, 2009 at the Columbia Marriott Hotel.
The award is given by the Columbia World Affairs Council to individuals who have helped create and have implemented a global vision for our state and who have been leaders in helping build South Carolina’s global presence.
Bob Royall and David Wilkins epitomize the essence of this award, said Fred Monk, chairman of the Columbia World Affairs Council.
Both men have contributed greatly to South Carolina’s global presence topped by their service as ambassadors to Tanzania and Canada, he said.
However, long before they were ambassadors they were making a mark for South Carolina globally for our state, he added.
The World Affairs Council is a non-profit organization created in 1993 to increase the awareness of international activities in the Columbia region and help build international relationships for the region and state. It is one of 93 councils in the country and is a member of the World Affairs Councils of America based in Washington, D.C.
Ambassador Robert V. Royall, Jr was confirmed on October 24, 2001, by the United States Senate to serve as President George W. Bush’s representative to the United Republic of Tanzania. He was administered the Oath of Office by Secretary of State Colin Powell on November 20, 2001. He presented his Letter of Credence to President Benjamin Mkapa on December 19, 2001. Edith Gregorie Royall, his wife, accompanied him on this posting. He served in that role until November 20, 2003 when he returned to South Carolina, his home state.
Before accepting his assignment in Tanzania, he served as the chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Bank of South Carolina beginning in 1991. Until that time, he served as Vice Chairman of the Citizens and Southern Corporation, Atlanta, GA and as chairman and CEO of the Citizens and Southern National Bank of SC. Ambassador Royall was appointed secretary of commerce for the state of South Carolina by Governor David Beasley from 1995 to 1999. He served as chairman of the South Carolina State Ports Authority which owns and operates marine terminals in Charleston and Georgetown, SC amid the years 1984 through 1994. These ports are critical components of the international trade infrastructure for the United States, providing efficient access to global markets for American exporters and the necessary way of securing the supply chain for the imported provisions and materials Americans need.
A dedicated member of the community, he has received numerous awards for his service, including election to the SC Business Hall of Fame. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Ambassador Royall is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, the Stonier Graduate School of Banking, and the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business Administration.
Equally impressive in accomplishments, Ambassador David H. Wilkins is a partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP and chairs the Public Policy and International Law practice group, which focuses primarily on representing businesses on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border and offers experience on a wide range of strategic bilateral issues.
On April 27, 2005, Mr. Wilkins was nominated by President George W. Bush to become the United States Ambassador to Canada and was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate on May 26, 2005. On June 29, 2005, he became the 21st United States Ambassador to Canada.
During his tenure, Ambassador Wilkins helped to resolve some of the most high-profile issues between Canada and the United States, including the decades-old softwood lumber dispute. He is known on both sides of the border as an honest broker who worked for solutions on the toughest issues – energy, national security, the environment, trade and travel — impacting millions of citizens in both countries.
Mr. Wilkins was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1980 and served there for 25 years. He quickly rose through the ranks in the House of Representatives, serving six years as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and two years as speaker pro tem before being elected speaker, a position he held for 11 years. He was the 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. In 2001, he served as president of the National Speakers Association.
A native of Greenville, South Carolina, Ambassador Wilkins earned his undergraduate degree from Clemson University and his law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. He also served in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserves. The Ambassador has been married to Susan Wilkins for 37 years.