External Affairs

Business, education leader named to Clemson corporate partnerships and strategic initiatives post


Headshot of David Clayton in black suit, blue tie and against gray background
David W. Clayton

CLEMSON — A Greenville business and education leader whose experience ranges from economic development to higher education has been named an assistant vice president for the Clemson University Office of Corporate Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives.

David W. Clayton, who most recently served as the executive director of the Greenville Technical College Center for Manufacturing Innovation, will be based in Greenville at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) and will work to develop and manage business development strategies and grow corporate partnerships for the university.

Clayton joins Ann Marie Alexander, assistant vice president for corporate partnerships on Clemson’s main campus, and will report to Jack Ellenberg, associate vice president of corporate partnerships and strategic initiatives. Their mission is to increase the university’s partnerships to launch new education opportunities, foster strategic initiatives, grow public and private research programs and expand support to industries.

“David’s success in developing strategic corporate partnerships and his business and government contacts will be invaluable as we work to offer our students purposeful educational experiences, innovate new technologies and provide the talent pipeline for industry in our state,” Ellenberg said.

“At the Center for Manufacturing Innovation, he created an environment that integrated research and education with collaborative R&D projects to teach production and engineering technicians for advanced manufacturing.”

Since 2015, when he became inaugural leader of the Center for Manufacturing Innovation on the CU-ICAR campus, Clayton has developed strategic partnerships with several corporate partners. Working with the Greenville Tech Foundation, he secured $4.6 million in donations and $1.8 million in consigned and donated equipment for the 100,000-square-foot manufacturing and education facility.

Before that, he was director of the Research Division of the South Carolina Department of Commerce for six years. While there, he presented to senior leaders of such companies as Volvo Cars and Continental Tire the strategic advantages of investing in South Carolina, helping bring thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in capital investment to the state.

He previously was a design engineer for General Electric and senior nuclear fuel design engineer for Westinghouse Nuclear Fuel, then was a business development strategist for PTV Loxane and senior project director for companies within the Sherman Financial Group.

Clayton earned a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Clemson University as a Calhoun Honors College graduate. He received an international MBA from the University of South Carolina, where he was a BMW Fellow and top graduate.

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