I enjoy helping clients address complex challenges and capitalize on incredible opportunities to grow. Clients look to me as the team member who helps them connect the dots in the finance, investment, economic development, and public policy arenas. I maintain strong international and domestic relationships at the highest levels and extensive bipartisan relationships among national and state leaders in electoral and administrative roles.
Ed McMullen has worked with clients in public policy, politics, and business nationally and internationally for more than 30 years. From the firm’s Charleston, South Carolina, and Washington, D.C. offices, Ed provides economic development and foreign direct investment (FDI) guidance to a broad range of clients. Ed works closely with a team of government relations professionals and lawyers to help clients with investment and economic development opportunities, state incentives, state environmental regulations, and the range of services relating to FDI.
Ed served as Ambassador of the United States to Switzerland and Liechtenstein from November 2017–January 2021. He has been recognized for developing the strongest bilateral relationship with U.S./Swiss relations in history. During his service as Ambassador, Ed focused on FDI and met more than 300 CEOs and chairs of boards of directors throughout Switzerland and Liechtenstein, building relationships and a favorable environment for economic growth. Thanks to Ed’s leadership in this initiative, Switzerland moved from the eighth-largest to the sixth-largest foreign direct investor in the United States. He is a frequent guest of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
As a result of this success, businesses regularly seek Ed’s advice and counsel in exploring avenues of growth in the U.S. Clients appreciate Ed’s in-depth experience in helping them connect with FDI opportunities. Following the completion of his public service, Ed is now engaged in private equity as a partner in a London firm, serves on the board of a Paris-based communications firm, and serves on the North American boards of several Swiss companies while continuing to build his relationships among investors and corporate leadership in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and throughout Europe.
In addition to his focus on FDI and economic development opportunities, Ed has significant experience with holding companies, family offices, and private equity firms dealing with finance, trade, and investments. He has developed multibillion-dollar economic development and real estate deals, a testament to his skill in connecting buyers and investors with opportunities.
Prior to his service as Ambassador, Ed worked in the public policy world as president of a state think tank and established early Washington D.C. contacts assisting the founding president of The Heritage Foundation during the Reagan Administration. Prior to his appointment as Ambassador, Ed founded and served as president of McMullen Public Affairs, a South Carolina-based corporate advertising and public relations firm that provided government affairs, grassroots campaigns, advertising, PR services, data analytics, and polling to a broad range of companies. Throughout his career, Ed’s clients have included several Fortune 25 companies and associations operating in the aerospace, high-tech, data analytics, pharmaceutical, finance, and biotech sectors.
Further, Ed’s background in politics informs his well-rounded approach to helping clients enhance opportunities on major economic development projects by building relationships on both sides of the aisle to get deals done. He has served as a policy adviser in several national presidential campaigns, as well as statewide political campaigns in Virginia and South Carolina. Ed has raised funds and served as an advisor for the McCain, Romney, and Trump presidential campaigns and congressional leaders, including U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham.
Leaders have sought Ed’s leadership on numerous boards and commissions. Ed served on the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, served two terms as Chairman of the South Carolina Endowed Chairs Research Centers Board, and was appointed by two Speakers of the House and Governor Beasley to serve on three different state taxation committees. He also served as a board member of the South Carolina Competitiveness Council and was a leader on the nuclear power subcommittee. Ed is a member of the Swiss American Foundation’s Board of Directors and serves as a Trustee of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
Ed was awarded The Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest honor, by Governor David Beasley. In addition to devoting time to his family and his work, Ed is an avid hunter and fly fisherman and enjoys playing tennis.
Disclaimer: Ed McMullen is not an attorney; he is a Senior Policy Advisor.
- Hampden-Sydney College, B.A., 1986, Political Science
- American-Swiss Foundation, Board of Directors Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Trustee South Carolina Philharmonic, Board of Directors South Carolina Preservation Trust
- Hampden-Sydney College, National Alumni Association, Board of Directors, Vice Chairman
Areas of Practice
- American Swiss Foundation Young Leaders Program, 1995
- The Order of the Palmetto
Professional Affiliations & Memberships
- The Heritage Foundation, Assistant to Founding President 1986–1989
- South Carolina Policy Council, President 1989–2006
- South Carolina Endowed Chairs Research Centers Board, Chairman
- South Carolina Competitiveness Council, Board Member
- South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, Board Member