As a member of the Government Investigations & White Collar Practice, Clark Ervin specializes in representing clients under investigation, or facing the prospect of investigation, by federal Offices of Inspector General. An integral member of the firm’s National Security team, as well as our International Public Policy Practice, Clark also provides strategic 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 as an appointee of President George W. Bush, Clark brings extensive experience and notable expertise to the firm’s Government Investigations & White Collar Practice. From 2003 to 2004, he served as the very first Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and from 2001 to 2002, as the Inspector General of the Department of State (State) and, simultaneously, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the then-global media arm of the US government.
In addition to counseling clients facing Inspector General-led investigations, Clark’s work 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 State and DHS, Clark counsels clients on visa and other immigration-related matters.
Clark also has considerable expertise in monitorships. In May 2016, the US Department of Education approved Zenith Education Group’s 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 (DOJ) and the City of Ferguson, Missouri, 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, and has served as Special Counsel to private companies and public bodies (including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey) on governance and ethics 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. 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 presidential/congressional Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Clark founded the Aspen Security Forum, the nation’s premier conference on national security and foreign policy matters, and led it until 2018. For a number of years, he was an on-air national security analyst for CNN, and his opinion pieces on national security issues have appeared in publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. 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.