Joe Riley is widely considered one of the most visionary and highly effective governmental leaders in America. He served ten terms as Mayor of the City of Charleston from 1975 to 2016.
In his time as Mayor, Charleston transformed from a decaying urban center to a top cultural destination. He is known for his innovative projects, carefully crafted to add to the overall quality of life in the city. The crisis leadership that he demonstrated after Hurricane Hugo in 1989 gained national praise for getting the city quickly cleaned up and running.
Mayor Riley led a city government with an impressive record of innovation in public safety, housing, arts and culture, children’s issues, and economic revitalization and development. The City of Charleston is recognized as one of the most livable and progressive cities in the United States.
Today, Riley is professor of American Government and Public Policy at The Citadel and Executive in Residence at the Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Center for Livable Communities at the College of Charleston.