Rick C. Wade is a founding partner of the Axelrod-Wade Group, a global business development firm, as well as Senior Vice President and Head of China Operations for Green Tech Automotive, Inc. He also is also an adviser to the Obama presidential campaign and the Democratic National Convention Committee.
Wade helped shape policy and served as liaison to the White House and business community as former deputy chief of staff to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke. He helped implement President Obama’s economic programs and was the department’s advocate at the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade, Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation, African Growth and Opportunity Act Forum and Conference on the Caribbean and Central America. As special envoy to the Caribbean, he directed private sector initiatives in Haiti and led international trade missions.
A Democratic National Committeeman, Wade served on White House task forces on Automobile Recovery, Small Business Contracting, Puerto Rico, Military Families, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Interagency Business Council and Vice President Biden’s Task Force on Middle Class America.
Wade’s career began in the South Carolina State Capitol as an analyst for the Ways and Means Committee. He later served as executive assistant to the president of the University of South Carolina, chief of staff to Lt. Governor Nick Theodore, and director of the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services. Wade is a former executive at Hoffman-La Roche, Fowler Communications and Palmetto GBA, a subsidiary of Blue Cross Blue Shield, and ran as the 2002 state democratic nominee for Secretary of State.
Wade holds the Bachelor of Science degree from the University of South Carolina and Master of Public Administration from Harvard University. He received honorary degrees from Benedict College and South Carolina State University and numerous awards for public service and leadership.