External Affairs

Business strategist, brand management executive takes helm of Corporate Partnerships in Charleston as assistant vice president


Headshot of Steve Warner, glasses, gray suit against gray background
Steve Warner

NORTH CHARLESTON — The Clemson University Office of Corporate Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives is expanding its efforts in the Lowcountry with a new assistant vice president, Steve Warner.

Warner, who most recently served as the Charleston Regional Development Alliance’s chief strategist, will be based at the Clemson University Restoration Institute (CURI) and will work to develop and manage enterprise-level educational, research and economic development opportunities through strategic partnerships.

“We continue to strengthen the expertise of the Office of Corporate Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives to better align with the needs of the state and industry so we can create new opportunities,” said Angie Leidinger, Clemson’s vice president for External Affairs. “We look forward to continue growing Clemson’s portfolio of strategic partnerships and making the University a nationally recognized leader among industry for unique and mutually-beneficial partnerships.”

Warner will report to Jack Ellenberg, the associate vice president of Corporate Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives who is located in Columbia. He will also work alongside two other assistant vice presidents in the division: Ann Marie Alexander, who is located on Clemson’s main campus, and David Clayton, who is located at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research in Greenville.

“Clemson is committed to providing innovative research and educational opportunities to strengthen learning outcomes and the University’s role as an economic development hub for the state of South Carolina,” said Jack Ellenberg, associate vice president of Corporate Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives. “Steve’s experience working alongside local and state officials and leaders of Fortune 500 companies will be instrumental as we move forward.”

During his time at the Charleston Regional Development Alliance, Warner oversaw research and planning initiatives to guide regional economic development and inform branding, marketing and business development for the region. He also worked with stakeholders in the region to align and strengthen efforts related to key economic development and regional competitiveness initiatives

“As Charleston’s economy has transitioned into a knowledge-based economy, highly-skilled talent and innovative solutions have become the number one drivers for business success,” said Warner. “Clemson University is uniquely positioned to deliver world-class talent and innovative solutions to address real world challenges, and I’m truly excited to be able to join a dynamic team while continuing to work with economic development stakeholders in Charleston.”

Prior to his 13+ years at the CRDA, Warner was a partner at Sawyer Riley Compton, a marketing agency in Atlanta. His multifaceted career includes more than 25 years in marketing and communications working with global brand leaders like Ritz-Carlton, CNN and Coca-Cola.

A native of Ninety Six, South Carolina, Warner graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in business administration.

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