About Elise Partin
Elected in 2008, Elise Partin is a nonpartisan leader who holds the distinction of being the first female to serve in the office of Mayor in Cayce, South Carolina, a historic city across the Congaree River from the state capital of Columbia, S.C. A leader on numerous boards including the Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Center for Livable Communities, Elise is known as a devoted servant-leader who builds consensus, activates innovations and accomplishes the unimaginable.
Voted in via special election in November 2008 to a two-year term and re-elected to a full four-year term in 2010, 2014 and 2018, she has been recognized for her focus on economic development, her strong representation of Cayce’s diverse residents and her efforts to promote regionalism and ethics reform while protecting taxpayer dollars. Under her leadership, Cayce has been recognized as one of the top 10 most tax-friendly places to retire in South Carolina and as the number one city in S.C. for recent graduates and millennials.
Mayor Elise Partin is on the board of the Women in Municipal Government for the National League of Cities. She is a past president of the Municipal Association of South Carolina and currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Central Midlands Council of Governments. She serves on the Lexington County Joint Municipal Water and Sewer Commission, the board of the Lexington County Development Corporation, and the board of the River Alliance. She is a member of the Association of South Carolina Mayors and is a past president of the Lexington County Municipal Association.
In 2015, to benefit her city, she was invited to participate in the prestigious and selective Mayors Institute for City Design, which is a collaboration of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Institute of Architects. In 2021, she was the first US Mayor accepted into the MICD alumni opportunity to enhance her city.
A Leadership Columbia graduate, Mayor Elise Partin is the only person to have served as president of both the Leadership Columbia Board and the Leadership Columbia Alumni Association Board. In 2012 she became a Furman University Riley Institute Diversity Leaders Initiative Fellow. She is a 2015 graduate of Leadership South Carolina and was the first female president of the Columbia Museum of Art Contemporaries, the museum’s membership organization for young professionals.
As her wide range of service demonstrates, Mayor Partin is not only keenly interested in the healthy governance of the City of Cayce but is fully committed to building the strong regional partnerships necessary to move the entire Midlands region forward. To that end, she partnered with her neighboring Mayor from Columbia, S.C. and played a key leadership role in creating and sustaining the Midlands Mayors Forum, focused on stronger collaborations and establishing a unified voice for impact. She was also board Chair at EngenuitySC, an organization whose mission is to increase the competitiveness of the Midlands Region of SC. She believes so deeply in the need for all of us to get involved in elected office that she gave a resounding call in her 2015 TEDxColumbiaSC speech.
Outside of her mayoral duties, Elise Partin is an Adjunct Faculty member in the Political Science Department and the School of Public Health of the University of South Carolina. Additionally, she is faculty with the world-renowned Buckley School of Public Speaking. In addition to being a leadership and public speaking coach, Elise is a keynote speaker focused on empowering women leaders. She holds a Master of Public Health degree and is a member of the Delta Omega, Mu Chapter, honorary public health society. She is married and has two children.
In recognition of her accomplishments and her many contributions, Mayor Partin was named as one of Columbia Regional Business Report’s Outstanding Women of Influence in 2011, nominated as a recipient of the Palmetto Center for Women’s TWIN Award in 2012, and was Honored as a Woman of Distinction by Girl Scouts of South Carolina - Mountains to Midlands in 2013. In 2014 she was named as one of Southeast Small Business Magazine’s “Top Women of Influence.” She has been recognized in the Free Times’ “Fifty People Who Get Things Done in the Capital City” in both 2014 and 2015, Free Times’ Power 50 in 2016 and 2017, Free Times’ Next 50 in 2018 to 2020, and as one of Columbia Business Monthly’s “50 Most Influential” each year from 2016 to 2021. In 2019, she was honored as the Public Servant of the Year by the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce. In 2021 she was nominated to the International Women’s Forum, an invitation-only network on the most accomplished women in the world.