W. Graham

Senior Vice President, Infrastructure and Economic Development

Columbia, SC

+1 803 251 2305


W. Ford Graham is a senior vice president on McGuireWoods Consulting’s national infrastructure and economic development team and a partner with McGuireWoods. Ford has a depth of experience working in the economic development sector where he has been one of the leading recruiters of international companies to the Southeastern United States. He has facilitated new industry and industrial expansion in over 123 projects, which have resulted in commitments of more than 11,000 new jobs and $3.9 billion in new investment. Ford’s practice focuses on companies opening or expanding operations in the U.S. In addition to economic incentives, Ford assists companies with the full spectrum of legal needs that arise when companies enter new markets.

Most recently, Ford was a partner at an international AmLaw 100 law firm, and he previously served as director of international strategy and trade for the South Carolina Department of Commerce. In that role, he directed all aspects of the agency’s international efforts, including South Carolina's four international offices in Delhi, Munich, Shanghai, and Tokyo, uncovering foreign direct investment opportunities, and assisting South Carolina companies with exporting their products to the rest of the world. Before that, he worked as general counsel for a real estate development/investment firm and served as a judicial clerk in the 5th and 14th Judicial Circuits of South Carolina. Ford served as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala.


Assisted a Canadian clothing manufacturer with the expansion of their existing HQ and distribution facility and expansion of production facility in the Southeastern U.S.

Assisted a multinational paper products conglomerate with the acquisition and large-scale expansion of production facilities in the home goods sector in the both the Southeastern and Midwestern U.S., and the expansion of production facilities in both the Southeastern and Northwestern U.S.

Assisted an Israel-based international defense electronics company with a greenfield production and HQ facility for advanced manufacturing in the defense sector in the Southeastern U.S.

Assisted an India and U.S.-based advanced manufacturing company with a greenfield production facility for advanced manufacturing in the aerospace sector in the Southeastern and Northeastern U.S.

Assisted a U.S.-based solar developer with 136 greenfield industrial solar arrays (2-150MW) in the Southeastern U.S.

Assisted a large, German vehicle manufacturer with multiple large-scale expansions of their existing production facility in the Southeastern U.S.

Assisted a Canadian manufacturer of multilayered laminated products with a greenfield production facility in the Southeastern U.S.

Assisted a U.S.-based, prepared meal delivery company with greenfield production and distribution facilities for the food service sector in both the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic U.S. and a greenfield distribution facility for the food service sector in the Southeastern U.S.

Assisted a Turkish supplier of premium bedding products with a greenfield production and distribution facility for the home furnishings sector in the Southeastern U.S.

Spearheaded the development of the legal structure behind a new incentive program for the economic development arm of a country in the Middle East.


Member, Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC)

Mentor, Teach for America

Past President, Council of American States in Europe (40-year old organization consisting of the 17 American states with representatives in Europe)

Past President, Vice President, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Carolina


South Carolina

Webinar: How Onshoring Affects Site Selection: Tariffs Coupled with The Pandemic Have Impacted Supply Chains and Certain Goods Markets, Industrial Asset Management Council, March 2021
2021 Timely Aspects and Updates on International Law Featuring Dispute Resolution, The Hague, Trade and Intellectual Property, 2021 SC Bar Convention, October 2020
Economic Development After COVID-19: What it Means for Existing & Prospective Companies, Council of American States in Europe: USA Investment Roundtable, June 2020
Due Diligence & Site Selection, SelectUSA Canada Conference, December 2019
You Will Need a Lawyer: Best Practices for Doing Business in the U.S., U.S. Embassy in the Czech Republic, September 2019
How U.S. Tax Reform Impacts Doing Business and Investments Between the United States and Switzerland, U.S. Embassy in Switzerland, March 2018
Foreign Direct Investment in South Carolina, Charleston Regional Development Alliance Quarterly Briefing, February 2017
Europe and Asia Market, Southern Forest Products Export Conference, October 2016
Growing South Carolina's Globally Connected Economy, Global South Metro Exchange Conference, July 2016
How South Carolina is Protecting its Reputation as a Manufacturing and Export Capital, Business Black Box Leader Series, May 2016
South Carolina: A Global Player in a Competitive Game, South Carolina Manufacturing Alliance Plant Management Annual Conference, April 2016

Economic Incentives Negotiation

Local Government Relations