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W. Ford Graham

Of Counsel
+1.843.579.5645
Fax +1.843.579.5601
W. Ford Graham is an of counsel in the Charleston office. Mr. Graham has nearly 10 years of experience working in the economic development sector where he has been one of the leading recruiters of international companies to the state of South Carolina. He has facilitated new industry and industrial expansion in over 72 projects, which has resulted in commitments of more than 7,300 new jobs and $2.5 billion in new investment.

Professional Background

Prior to joining K&L Gates, Mr. Graham served as Director of International Strategy & Trade for the South Carolina Department of Commerce. In that role, he directed all aspects of the agency’s international efforts including South Carolina’s four international offices in Delhi, Munich, Shanghai, and Tokyo, uncovering Foreign Direct Investment opportunities, and assisting South Carolina companies with exporting their products to the rest of the world. Before that, he worked as general counsel for a real estate development/investment firm and served as a law clerk in the 5th and 14th Judicial Circuits of South Carolina. Graham also served as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala.

Achievements

  • President of the Council of American States in Europe (CASE), 2012 - 2014, 2014-2015
  • Recognized by The State Newspaper as one of the “20 Under 40” emerging business leaders, 2011
  • Received South Carolina’s Rural Development Service Award, 2009

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Folks Center for International Business, Moore School of Business, Univ. of SC, Board Member
  • Council of American States in Europe (40-year old organization consisting of the 17 American states with representatives in Europe), immediate past President
  • Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Carolina, immediate past President, Vice President
  • ScoutReach Columbia (underprivileged youth scouting program), Chairman of the Whitney M. Young Awards Banquet, Finance Committee Chair, Board Member

Speaking Engagements

  • Charleston Regional Development Alliance Quarterly Briefing: Foreign Direct Investment in South Carolina, February 2017
  • Southern Forest Products Export Conference: Europe and Asia Market, Moderator, October 2016
  • Global South Metro Exchange Conference: Growing South Carolina's Globally Connected Economy, July 2016
  • Business Black Box Leader Series: How South Carolina is Protecting its Reputation as a Manufacturing and Export Capital, Panelist, May 2016
  • South Carolina Manufacturing Alliance Plant Management Annual Conference: South Carolina: A Global Player in a Competitive Game, April 2016
  • Comcast Chindia Summit: Globalization of Chindia Enterprises, March 2016