Robert M. Hitt, III

Secretary of Commerce, South Carolina Department of Commerce


Robert “Bobby” M. Hitt III was appointed by Governor Nikki Haley to serve as Secretary of Commerce in January 2011. Hitt, the previous manager of corporate affairs at the BMW Manufacturing Company in Spartanburg, brings a wealth of economic development experience to the Department of Commerce and has personally worked with the previous five commerce secretaries.

Under his leadership as Secretary of Commerce, South Carolina has become a leader in economic development recruiting more than $29 billion in capital investments and 108,000 new jobs to the state. Throughout Hitt’s tenure, South Carolina has consistently ranked number one in the export sales of both completed passenger motor vehicles and tires. In three of five years, the state has also led the nation in jobs created from foreign direct investment, per capita.

Before his time at S.C. Commerce and BMW, Hitt served as the director of planning and development for the Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough law firm and worked for 17 years at The State and The Columbia Record newspapers, serving as managing editor of both publications.

Hitt is a native of Charleston and is a graduate of the University of South Carolina. He and his wife Gwen have two sons, Lucas, and Robert Paul and one grandson, Ben