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Joseph P. Riley

Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Endowed Chair of American Government and Public Policy Professor

After leading the city of Charleston, South Carolina, for 40 years, Joseph P. Riley, Jr., one of America’s most highly respected mayors and a transformational civil rights leader, is sharing his experiences with cadets, students, faculty and staff at his alma mater, as well as the Lowcountry community. A member of The Citadel Class of 1964, he is the first occupant of the Joseph P. Riley, Jr., Endowed Chair of American Government and Public Policy, a position he assumed just two hours after retiring from public office in early 2016.

Over the last half century, Riley has become one of the most important figures in American municipal government. He served in the South Carolina General Assembly from 1969-1974. He has been mayor longer than almost anyone in U.S. history who was elected in non-partisan contests. Riley is often credited with saving Charleston after Hurricane Hugo in 1989, aiding the stranded and garnering millions of dollars to repair the city. His administration is also credited with fostering economic growth strategies that have earned Charleston a global reputation as one of the most desirable places in which to live, visit and do business.

Riley is teaching a new course he developed in conjunction with history Prof. Kerry Taylor, Ph.D., called Old South City, New South Revival. The is his first systematic and comprehensive public discussion of his years as mayor of Charleston. The 15 classes in the course are open to members of the public who register in advance by emailing There is no charge for the public to attend. Class themes include Charleston and the Remaking of the American City, Ruin and Recovery: Hurricane Hugo and the Re-Making of the Lowcountry, and the Emanuel Massacre and Post-Racial America. View a full list of classes.

Riley is also hosting numerous special guests and events through The Citadel School of Humanities and Social Sciences’ Joseph P. Riley, Jr., Initiative in American Government and Public Policy. The initiative provides extracurricular programs to promote better understanding of principles of ethical and effective leadership.

News Links
Professor Joe Riley returns to the classroom at The Citadel The Post & Courier
Former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley to teach highly anticipated history course


Contact Information:
Email the Mayor's Assistant
Kelly Parr


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