Clark Kent Ervin is a member of Patton Boggs’ Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice, helping corporate 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 practice, as well as its International practice, Mr. Ervin also provides invaluable counsel to clients on issues of national security and foreign policy.
Having served as inspector general for three federal agencies during the administration of President George W. Bush, Mr. Ervin brings extensive experience and notable expertise to the firm’s Government Investigations specialty 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 companies facing inspector general-led investigations, Mr. Ervin’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 obtained 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 2008, Mr. Ervin 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 inspector general. He has also been a member of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s Homeland Security Advisory Council since 2009. From its inception in 2008 to its expiration in September 2011, Mr. Ervin, 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.
Mr. Ervin’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, Mr. Ervin 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, brings top-level present and former government officials, industry and thought leaders, nationally noted print and broadcast journalists and concerned citizens to Aspen each summer to explore various aspects of aviation, maritime, border and mass transit security; critical infrastructure protection and “soft targets” security; cyber-security; intelligence; counterterrorism strategy; and more. Mr. Ervin 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 Secretary Napolitano and other national security-related policymakers.
Formerly an on-air analyst and contributor at CNN, Mr. Ervin still appears frequently 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. Mr. Ervin’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.