Henry Dargan McMaster of Columbia became the 117th Governor of South Carolina on January 24, 2017. He was elected to a full term in November 2018 and re-elected in November 2022.
Since taking office, Governor McMaster has prioritized economic investment and growth, educational excellence, and environmental stewardship and resilience. He has announced over 72,000 new jobs and over $27 billion in capital investment. He has successfully encouraged the General Assembly to heavily invest in school safety and law enforcement, signed into law the largest income tax cut in the history of the state, and he has ensured that every ‘at risk’ child in the state has access to full-day, four-year old kindergarten. His policy of “communication, collaboration and cooperation” among government agencies, businesses and citizens – following the dictates of common sense and the Constitution – has helped foster this record-breaking economic growth and wise investment.
The second of six sons of the late attorney and former State Representative John Gregg McMaster, Jr. and Ida Dargan McMaster of Columbia, he served four years as United States Attorney – the first appointed by President Ronald Reagan – eight years as Attorney General and two years as Lieutenant Governor.
As US Attorney, Mr. McMaster’s “Operation Jackpot” investigation and prosecution into international drug smuggling pioneered innovative methods and procedures now commonly used by state and federal law enforcement.
As Attorney General, Mr. McMaster made the prosecution of criminal domestic violence a priority and harnessed the resources of law enforcement and prosecutors to crack down on child internet predators. He also extended the jurisdiction of the State Grand Jury to environmental crimes, gang violence and securities fraud.
As Lieutenant Governor, Mr. McMaster served as President of the South Carolina Senate and headed the Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging, which aids older citizens with social, economic and health needs.
Governor McMaster received his BA degree in history in 1969 from the University of South Carolina and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he served on the South Carolina Law Review. Upon graduation, he served as a legislative assistant to US Senator Strom Thurmond in Washington, DC. He served in the US Army Reserves (JAG) from 1969 to 1975.
Governor McMaster has served on the South Carolina Ports Authority Board of Directors, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, the Palmetto Health Foundation, the South Carolina Policy Council, and the Commission on Ethics Reform. He is admitted to practice in all courts, state and federal, in South Carolina, as well as the US Court of Claims, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States.
Governor McMaster is married to Peggy McAbee McMaster and they have two children, Henry D. McMaster, Jr. (Virginia Roach) and Mary Rogers McMaster Herskovitz (Sam Herskovitz), and two grandchildren. They are members of First Presbyterian Church of Columbia.