Walker to direct USC Statehouse efforts; comes home to Carolina
The University of South Carolina announced Thursday (Sept. 1) that Gov. Nikki Haley’s deputy chief of staff and USC alumnus Trey Walker, ’89, will lead its Statehouse efforts as the new director of state relations.
Walker, with 20 years of experience in government relations and political consulting on the state and national levels, directed legislative affairs and communications for the governor and similar efforts prior for the attorney general. The former state GOP executive director ran Sen. John McCain’s successful state primary campaign and served on the national campaign senior staff.
“Trey Walker is not only an experienced government relations professional, but he exudes Gamecock pride. In many ways, we are welcoming him back home to his alma mater,” Luanne Lawrence, USC vice president for communications, said. “During the interview process, it was clear that he had the established contacts in the General Assembly, the governor’s office and throughout the state of South Carolina that USC needs in growing its presence. He is truly a proud alumnus.”
Walker will coordinate activities related to USC with members of the S.C. General Assembly. With a focus on building strategic and proactive communications across the state, he will establish and maintain relationships with elected officials and serve as a liaison between the university and state officials and their staffs. He will assist in developing legislative strategy and will guide the growth of the USC student and alumni advocacy networks.
Regarding his departure from his current position, Haley said, "Trey was a huge part of the successes we shared this first year. He's a talented, loyal and committed guy, and the University of South Carolina is lucky to have him."
Walker will begin in his new position this month.
In addition to Walker, Shirley Mills, the university’s long-standing director of government and community relations, will develop and maintain relationships with local governments, citizen groups and legislative delegations. Mills brings more than 30 years of experience to this challenge.
“The combination of Mr. Walker and Ms. Mills working together makes me proud to have the team needed in these changing times,” USC President Harris Pastides said. “I am confident of their ability to work with state government, local governments and the community to keep them informed of the university’s challenges and opportunities.”