Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

2 South Carolinians selected for federal supply chain advisory panel

Staff Report //June 18, 2018//

2 South Carolinians selected for federal supply chain advisory panel

Staff Report //June 18, 2018//

Listen to this article

Clemson University industrial engineering professor is one of two South Carolinians selected to serve on a nationwide committee that advises U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on supply chain competitiveness.

Scott Mason is headed to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday and Thursday for his first meeting as a member of the Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness, according to a Clemson University news release.

MasonNewsomeJoining Mason on the committee is Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the S.C. Ports Authority.

“There are two South Carolinians on this panel out of 45 members,” Mason said in the news release. “That’s more than our one-fiftieth representation. I’m looking forward to seeing what turns out from it.”

Mason is the Fluor Endowed Chair in Supply Chain Optimization and LogisticsHe has gleaned experience from working directly with companies throughout his career, the news release said. He estimates that of the $6 million in research he has done, $5 million has been with industry.

“Providing faculty expertise to help our state and national economy flourish is a central part of Clemson’s 21st-century land-grant mission, and Dr. Mason’s deep industry knowledge makes him ideally suited to serve in this role,” Clemson President Jim Clements said in the news release. Clements is active in economic engagement endeavors and currently serves as a member of the national Council on Competitiveness.

Mason is currently in his last two months of a one-year sabbatical with Amazon at the retailer’s Seattle headquarters, according to the news release. He works in a group that looks at where in the country to strategically place inventory so that it can get to customers as quickly and inexpensively as possible.

“Working at Amazon, I’ve gotten to see the size and the scale of one of the world’s most complicated supply chains and had the opportunity to help figure out how the pieces go together,” Mason said.

J. Cole Smith, chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering, said that Mason is ideally suited to help advise the commerce secretary on supply chain competitiveness.

“Dr. Mason has impeccable credentials,” Smith said in the news release. “Not only will the country benefit from his years of experience, but Dr. Mason’s service will help spread the word about Clemson’s excellence in industrial engineering, specifically logistics and supply chain. His involvement could lead to future collaborations and has the potential to inform student research.”

Newsome became the head of the ports authority in 2009 after serving in executive leadership roles for several shipping companies, including Hapag-Lloyd, Nedlloyd Lines and Strachan Shipping Co.

Newsome earned a bachelor’s degree in transportation and logistics in 1976 and an MBA in transportation and logistics in 1977 from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, according to the port’s website.

Since assuming the helm at the S.C. Ports Authority, Newsome has undertaken major infrastructure projects, worked to overhaul agency culture and boosted cargo volumes after the Great Recession.

The port recently opened its second inland port, in Dillon County, five years after opening Inland Port Greer. The port is now focused on completing major renovations of the Wando Welch Terminal in Mount Pleasant; opening a new headquarters at that terminal; building a new cargo terminal on the old Navy Base in North Charleston; and deepening Charleston Harbor and the surrounding rivers to handle bigger containerships without tidal restrictions.

The committee was formed in 2012 to provide the commerce secretary with “detailed advice on the elements of a comprehensive national freight infrastructure and freight policy to support U.S. supply chain and export competitiveness,” according to the committee’s website. “The committee’s work is intended to further the administration’s export, economic, and job growth goals.”

Mason’s appointment lasts a year and a half, and he expects about six meetings will be held during his term.