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Name: Wilkins, David
Current Position: Former Ambassador
A native of Greenville, South Carolina, David H. Wilkins served as US Ambassador to Canada from June 29, 2005, until 2009. Wilkins received his undergraduate degree from Clemson University and his law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. After service in the Army, he returned to Greenville, where he practiced law for more than 30 years.
Before becoming ambassador to Canada, Wilkins served 25 years in the South Carolina House of Representatives, beginning in 1980, as a Republican. He rose through the ranks in the House, 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.
A strong supporter of President George W. Bush, Wilkins served as state chairman of the Bush–Cheney ’04 campaign and as co-chair of the campaign in 2000. He was appointed by the President to the Board of Visitors to the United States Academy at West Point in 2002 and served for three years.
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