As a member of the Government Investigations & White Collar Practice Group, Clark K. Ervin helps clients under investigation, or facing the prospect of investigation, by federal Offices of Inspector General, to craft, coordinate and implement strategic defenses. An integral member of the firm’s Homeland Security, Defense, and Technology Transfer team, as well as our International Policy Practice, Clark also provides invaluable counsel to clients, both corporations and foreign sovereigns, on issues of national security and foreign policy.
Having served as Inspector General of three federal agencies during the administration of President George W. Bush, Clark brings extensive experience and notable expertise to the firm’s Government Investigations & White Collar Practice. From 2003-2004, he served as the very first Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and from 2001-2002, as the Inspector General of the Department of State and, simultaneously, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the global media arm of the United States government.
In addition to counseling clients facing Inspector General-led investigations, Clark’s work also focuses on other executive branch, congressional and internal corporate investigations, and he plays an active role in the firm’s dealings with state Attorneys General, applying knowledge gained while he served the State of Texas as Assistant Secretary of State and a Deputy Attorney General during then Governor George W. Bush’s administration. In this capacity, he represents clients being investigated by State Attorneys General and he also advocates clients’ policy positions to State Attorneys General. Finally, drawing on his experience at the State and Homeland Security Departments, Clark counels clients on cybersecurity matters and immigration-related matters, including the EB-5 Program.
Clark also has considerable expertise in monitorships. In May, 2016, the US Department of Education approved Zenith Education Group’s (Zenith) selection of the firm, with Clark leading the team, as the Monitor with respect to certain provisions the department required Zenith to comply with as a condition of its approval of Zenith’s acquisition of some formerly for-profit colleges owned by the now defunct Corinthian Colleges. In July 2016, the US Department of Justice and the City of Ferguson selected the firm, with Clark leading the team, as the Monitor with respect to the Ferguson Police Department’s and the city’s municipal court system’s compliance with the terms of a consent decree. He also counsels companies on compliance-related matters.
In 2008, Clark served as the co-chairman of then President-elect Barack Obama’s Transition Team for DHS, adding to the experience he gained while previously serving as the Department’s first Inspector General. He was also a member of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s Homeland Security Advisory Council. From its inception in 2008 to its expiration in September 2011, Clark, an appointee of then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, served as one of the eight members of the independent, bipartisan congressional Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Clark’s government experience is complemented by his policy expertise. Since leaving DHS in 2004, he served as the director of the Homeland Security Program at the Aspen Institute and continues to serve the program as a consultant. In this capacity, Clark convenes policymakers and thought leaders in homeland security and counterterrorism with a view to helping shape the policy debate. His signature program at the Institute, the annual Aspen Security Forum, www.aspensecurityforum.org, brings top-level present and former government officials, industry and thought leaders, and nationally noted print and broadcast journalists to Aspen each summer to discuss and debate the key issues of the day in the fields of national security. Clark also founded and serves as the executive director of the Aspen Homeland Security Group, a bipartisan group of former government officials and policy experts, co-chaired by former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and former Representative Jane Harman, that provides informal advice and counsel to the Homeland Security Secretary and other national security-related policymakers.
Formerly an on-air analyst and contributor at CNN, Clark still appears as a guest commentator on television and radio networks, and is often cited as an expert by major national and international publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Time and The Economist. His opinion pieces have appeared in The New York Times and The Washington Post. Clark’s book on homeland security – “Open Target: Where America is Vulnerable to Attack” – was published by the St. Martin’s Press imprint, Palgrave Macmillan, in 2006.
Publications, Speeches, Presentations