Admiral Vern Clark, (USN, Ret.), MBA

Admiral Vern Clark, (USN, Ret.), MBA

Distinguished Professor · Email

Admiral Clark completed a distinguished 37-year Navy career in 2005. His Navy experience spans his early days in destroyers, early command in a Patrol Gunboat as a Lieutenant and concluded in the halls of the Pentagon as the Chief of Naval Operations and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In between, he commanded over 50 percent of his career including three ships, two destroyer squadrons, the Atlantic Fleet's Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center, a Carrier Battle Group, the Second Fleet, NATO's Striking Fleet, and the Atlantic Fleet. His career is also marked by an unusual amount of joint service. In the decade of the 1990's, he served seven of the 10 years in the joint and combined area culminating in his assignment as the Director of the Joint Staff in Washington D.C.

Admiral Clark's tenure as CNO was a period of significant change and renewed vision. He was the first CNO to be extended in office under the Goldwater-Nichols framework as he became the second longest serving CNO in history. In 2002 he charted a course for the future by publishing Sea Power 21, a vision for the first part of the 21st century to exploit the advantages of operating from the world's oceans. His number one priority was to "win the battle for people," which led to the development of a 21st century human capital strategy and revolution of the training, development and assignment processes within the Navy. The result was the best recruiting and retention in history. Finally, he forged an effort to build the Navy as an enterprise which would be able to compete in the 21st century market place leading to billions of dollars in savings for the taxpayers of the nation and the highest operational readiness the Navy had witnessed in decades.

Admiral Clark has received numerous military decorations for his service including four awards of the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, three Navy Distinguished Medals, and three awards of the Legion of Merit. Along with his Navy and Joint awards, he was honored by Distinguished Service Medals received from the United States Army, United States Air Force, the United States Coast Guard, and international awards received from Germany, Italy, France, South Korea, Japan, Portugal, Singapore, and the Netherlands. Since his retirement he has been honored with the Eisenhower Award from the Business Executives of North America and the Distinguished Sea Service Award from the Naval Order of the United States, and the Distinguished Service Medal of the Military Order of World Wars.

Admiral Clark earned his undergraduate degree from Evangel College in Springfield, Missouri, and an MBA from the University of Arkansas. He has since received Honorary Doctorate degrees from the University of Toledo, Old Dominion University, Northwest University and Palm Beach Atlantic University.

Admiral Clark serves on the Board of Directors of Raytheon Company, Rolls Royce North America, Horizon Lines, the World Board of Governors of the USO, and SRI International where he is Chairman of the Board. In the world of education he was named a Distinguished Professor in the schools of Government and Leadership at Regent University and elected to the Board of Trustees/Visitors at Regent University, Vanguard University and Air University. He serves as a senior advisor with Booz Allen Hamiltion, the Defense Policy Board, the advisory boards of Fleishman-Hillard, Robertson Fuel Systems LLC, Cubic Defense Applications, Inc. and the Executive Committee of Military History.

Admiral Clark and his wife, Connie, reside in Arizona and Virginia.

Fields of Expertise:

  • U.S. Military Policy
  • Terrorism and Homeland Security