Rick C. Wade
Board Member - Senior Vice President of Strategic Alliances and Outreach, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Rick C. Wade is Senior Vice President of Strategic Alliances and Outreach at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He is leading the Chamber’s historic Equality of Opportunity initiative aimed to develop sustainable public policy and business solutions to help close race-based opportunity gaps in education, employment, entrepreneurship, criminal justice, health and wealth.
Before joining the Chamber, Wade was principal of The Wade Group, a strategic communications and global business development firm, and was a partner at Harves Investment Group, a consultancy that facilitated foreign direct investment into the United States.
A former member of the Democratic National Committee, Wade was a Senior Adviser to President Barack Obama and National Director of Africa-American Vote during the 2008 Obama for America campaign. He served a Senior Adviser and Deputy Chief of Staff to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke where he was a liaison to the White House, businesses, trade associations, civic organizations, and local governments. He was a member of the White House task forces on Puerto Rico, Small Business Contracting, Automobile Recovery, Military Families, and Historically Black Colleges & Universities. He served on the Interagency Business Council and former Vice President Joe Biden’s Task Force on Middle Class America and worked with the White House on implementing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Wade was previously an executive at Hoffman-La Roche and Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina. He also had experience at the South Carolina House of Representatives, the Cabinet of the Governor, and the Office of the President at the University of South Carolina.
Wade received his B.S. from the University of South Carolina and an M.P.A. from Harvard University. He was awarded honorary doctorates from Benedict College and South Carolina State University. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of USA Track and Field, National Forest Foundation and Wilberforce University as well as Adviser to PBS’ Path to the Future.