Richard W. Riley is the former U. S. Secretary of Education (1993-2001) and former Governor of South Carolina (1979-1987). He served as a South Carolina state representative and state senator from 1963-1977.
He is currently a senior partner in the law firm of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP. Riley counsels clients and works with partners to develop strategy on complex business, governance, and financial and legal matters for local, national, and international clients. With the full support of the firm, Riley remains an ambassador for improving education in the United States and abroad. He has been appointed Distinguished Professor at his alma mater, Furman University, and serves as Advisory Board Chair of the Richard W. Riley Institute of Government, Politics and Public Leadership there. He also has been named Distinguished Professor at the University of South Carolina, and the College of Education at Winthrop University bears his name. Secretary Riley is also a Distinguished Senior Fellow at NAFSA: Association of International Educators in Washington, DC, where he maintains his national education office. In addition, he speaks, provides leadership, and serves in an advisory and collaborative capacity with many other entities across the nation and abroad that support education improvement.
In 2010, Riley was announced as an inductee for the official South Carolina Hall of Fame.
Riley earned his Bachelor's in Political Science from Furman University in 1954 and received a J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1959.