Mullikin named Explorers Club Fellow

South Carolina-based global expedition leader joins elite international organization

By Chris Carter

NEW YORK, N.Y. – South Carolina-based environmental attorney and global expedition
Thomas S. Mullikin was welcomed into the famed Explorers Club as a “Fellow” during
ceremonies at the Explorers Club reception, Fri., Mar. 9, and the 114th annual Explorers
Club Dinner at the Marriot Marquis in Times Square, NYC, Sat., Mar. 10. Billed as “the
Academy Awards of Exploration,” approximately 1,200 explorers and guests gathered in
Manhattan over the weekend for the events.

Explorers Club Fellowships are “reserved for those who have distinguished themselves
by directly contributing to scientific knowledge in the field of geographical exploration or
allied sciences evidenced by scientific publications documenting fieldwork or
explorations.” Mullikin’s fellowship was effective Feb. 2018.

Applauding Mullikin’s work, S.C. Governor Henry McMaster says, “[Mullikin] has
successfully undertaken some of the most complex domestic and international
environmental concerns. [He] has represented multinational and national corporations
on complex energy and environmental concerns, and he has a proven ability to reach
across all party and stakeholder lines to find substantive solutions. His record of
corporate, academic and legal experience and public service reveal an extraordinary
man of character and leadership.”

Longtime friend W. Thomas Smith Jr. – a former U.S. Marine infantry leader,
counterterrorism expert, and New York Times bestselling editor – says, “Tom Mullikin’s
body of research and exploration has, for years, added meaningful value to significant
scientific and policy concerns concerning the global environment. So this inclusion in
the Explorers Club as a fellow is, in my opinion, both well-deserved and quite a natural,
mutually beneficial relationship.”

Smith adds, “The Explorers Club has long-held exacting standards for membership and
a strict vetting process. It is, after all, an organization of great historic firsts.”

Firsts indeed. Since the institution’s founding well-over a century ago, Explorers Club
members have been the first to the North Pole, first to the South Pole, first to the
summit of Mount Everest, first to the Mariana Trench (the deepest point in the
ocean), and first to the surface of the moon.

Mullikin himself is on a measured quest to achieve another first; that of becoming the
first human to have both climbed the world’s seven great summits and recorded SCUBA
dives in all five oceans

Mullikin has already logged the dives including certified ice dives in both the Arctic and
Antarctic Oceans (He is a certified SCUBA instructor); and he has climbed four of the
seven great summits including the highest mountains in Europe (Mt. Elbrus), Africa (Mt.
Kilimanjaro), Australia (Mt. Kosciuszko) and South America (Mt. Aconcagua).

Mullikin has also summited or circumnavigated many of the world’s other highest
mountains, none of which have anything to do with his record quest. And according to a
recent article, “He has sailed through some of the world’s roughest straits, cut his way
through seemingly impenetrable jungle and rain forests, and traversed some of the most
unforgivably arid stretches of desert.”

Why? Most adventurers might climb, dive, hike, and jump (yes, Mullikin has
jumped a lot too, and from many different types of aircraft) all for the sheer adventure
factor.

For Mullikin, however, the thrill of his work is a collateral benefit of the greater seeking
of experiential knowledge: Exploring remote places, gathering information,
learning about the global environment and the world’s most fragile ecosystems
then educating others: His students at Coastal Carolina University (CCU) where he
serves as a Research Professor Universidad San Francisco de Quito (in Ecuador)
where he has taught classes on Global Environment and elsewhere. He has
also lectured at many of the world’s most-prestigious universities.

A senior environmental attorney and one of the founding principals of the Mullikin law
firm in Camden, S.C., Mullikin’s practice focuses primarily on issues of worldwide
climate, water and land use. In that, he has developed unique strategies in the realms
of nuclear technology, environmental sustainability, disaster relief, crisis management,
healthcare, and unconventional energy production.

Mullikin says “most people around the world want the same thing; a clean environment
and an economy that allows them to support their families. These objectives can be met
concurrently through an informed conversation.”

Mullikin has served as a United States private sector representative at the 2016 U.S.–
Caribbean–Central American Energy Summit. He assisted with the response to the
Prestige Oil Tanker Crisis. He assisted in drafting chemical laws for the Republic of
Moldova. He reviewed and drafted recommendations for the Sierra Leone Constitution
proposed chapter on local government. He also assessed legal best practices for the
Maldives.

Mullikin recently led a team of experts on behalf of the United Nations
Development Programme helping to draft legislation for the Republic of Fiji aimed at
protecting the Pacific island nation’s rich mineral resources.

“Tom Mullikin has a huge heart for Fiji, the Pacific Rim nations, and the world,”
says Tevita Boseiwaqa, the Fijian Permanent Secretary of Lands and Mineral
Resources. “[Mullikin strengthened] the foundation of Fiji’s economy so that we as a
nation may thrive in the global marketplace, while protecting both the Fijian people and
our rich natural resources for many years to come.”

In Mullikin’s native South Carolina, a coastal state which over the past few years has
experienced the impacts of severe weather systems over the last three
years, Mullikin has worked hard to shore up the state’s emergency response capabilities
through his command of the all-volunteer 1,000-person S.C. State Guard (SCSG), a
Title 32 U.S. Code state defense force organization which exists as a component part of
the S.C. Military Dept., which also includes the S.C. Army National Guard, the S.C. Air
National Guard, the Emergency Management Division, and other elements.

Perhaps the best uses of Mullikin’s SCSG were recognized during Hurricanes Joaquin
(2015), Matthew (2016), and Irma (2017) when Mullikin approached his colleagues
and weather-modeling experts at CCU, asked them to provide “the best storm-
forecast tracking” models, and simultaneously prepositioned SCSG assets – engineers,
search-and-rescue teams, medical professionals and others – near the areas likely to
be the most-heavily impacted.

In a 2015 letter to Mullikin from Maj. Gen. James E. Livingston, U.S. Marine
Corps (Ret.) and recipient of the Medal of Honor, Livingston writes, “What you [Mullikin]
have been able to accomplish in terms of transforming the S.C. State Guard into a
cohesive all-volunteer state defense force organization capable of supporting the S.C.
National Guard and the broader S.C. Military Dept. has been exceptional. … efforts
during the recent flooding disaster in S.C. demonstrated not only the excellent training
your officers and NCOs have conducted since you assumed command, but the
necessity of a well-prepared organization of volunteers who are able to serve as you all
have done.”

In addition to his SCSG service, Mullikin is a former U.S. Army Judge Advocate General
Corps (JAG) officer who was attached as an international legal officer to a Civil Affairs
Brigade (Airborne) within the U.S. Special Operations Command. He also served, post-
Army, as Special Assistant to the Chief Prosecutor of Military Commissions, U.S. Army
Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, who has said that “because of his extraordinary work, I can
confidently affirm that Mullikin’s efforts are meaningful contributing to the whole of
our national security efforts.”

Mullikin was recognized for his military service during a special halftime ceremony at a
University of South Carolina (USC) football game, Nov. 18, 2017. USC is Mullikin’s alma
mater. He is a graduate of both USC (undergraduate) and the USC School of Law.

Founded in New York City in 1904 and incorporated in 1905, The Explorers Club
promotes the scientific exploration of land, sea, air, and space by supporting research
and education in the physical, natural and biological sciences.

– Chris Carter’s work has appeared in Human Events, Canada Free Press, Family
Security Matters, Deutsche Welle, and NavySEALs.com among others. He is a regular
columnist at OpsLens.com

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