Clay Middleton is a community advocate, combat veteran, and public servant who throughout his career have shown leadership, innovation, and determination to improve the quality of life for those in need.
Middleton is a Special Advisor at the U.S. Department of Energy. He also served as the Associate Director for the White House Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Corporation for National and Community Service. His time in the Obama administration has allowed him to work on a variety of domestic issues and presidential initiatives. Middleton provides advice and guidance on policy, serves as a trusted liaison to White House working groups as well as internal and external stakeholders.
Prior to joining the Obama administration, Middleton served as the Lowcountry Coordinator for U.S. Congressman James E. Clyburn (D-SC). There, he worked with elected and appointed officials, municipalities as well as businesses, non-profits, state agencies, and other organizations, to delivery effective and efficient government and private assistance to the Sixth Congressional District. In 2008, Middleton ran for a seat in the South Carolina House of Representatives, narrowly losing in the runoff election. Later that year, he served as the South Carolina Political Director for the Obama for America Campaign. Middleton also served as a Regional Field Organizer for the S.C. Democratic Party in a partnership with the Democratic National Committee 50 State Strategy.
A military combat veteran, Middleton enlisted in the S.C. Army National Guard January 6, 2000. For his exceptionally meritorious service in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom, he earned the Bronze Star Medal. In 2006, Middleton did a stint along the Arizona-Mexico border as part of Operation Jump Start, a Bush administration initiative which dispatched 6,000 National Guard soldiers to assist Border Patrol agents. Middleton is currently a Captain in the S.C. Army National Guard serving as the Logistics Officer for the 151st Signal Battalion in Greenville, SC.
Middleton graduated from The Citadel majoring in Political Science in 2003 and received a diploma in Political Education from Morgan State University – Congressional Black Caucus Political Leadership Institute in 2005. He also earned his Master’s Degree and Graduate Certificate in Leadership from The Citadel in 2011. In 2012, Middleton was selected to serve as a delegate to the West Bank and Israel with the American Council of Young Political Leaders.
Some of Middleton’s awards and honors include: Designated an Outstanding Spokesman For Freedom by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Association, Proclamation from the city of Charleston, Bronze Star Medal, three Army Commendation Medals, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, MOJA Arts Festival Rising Star Award, Charleston Regional Business Journal Forty Under 40 Award, National Council of Negro Women, Inc Bethune-Leonard Section Innovator Under 35 Award, Charleston Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Political Achievement Award, NAACP Charleston Branch J. Arthur Brown Community Service Award, Charleston Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc Political Awareness and Involvement Award, Morris Street Baptist Church Community Service Award, and a Presidential Service Award.
Middleton is a member of St. Luke R.E. Church, a master mason with Prince Hall F&AM Gothic Lodge #212, a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. Charleston Alumni Chapter, and The Citadel Alumni Association. He has active membership in other organizations and serves on several boards and committees.
Middleton firmly believes that it is best to live by making headway rather than headlines. “There is no need to worry about recognition; for the work you do will speak for you and what you do to the least of these you do unto the Creator. By staying true to this belief and commitment, the best is yet to come.”
In 2013, Middleton married fellow Charleston, SC native, Nicole Middleton.
Click here to read the Charleston Post & Courier’s profile of Clay.