2019 Mentorship Awardee
Dr. Gary Clark
Accomplished and seasoned, Dr. Clark worked at the Louisiana state legislature as a Staff Assistant to the Louisiana Legislative Council. He worked in Washington, D.C., as a Staff Assistant to Congressman Gillis W. Long (D-La). He served as a Research Coordinator for Legislative Affairs and Trade Policy with the World Trade Center of New Orleans. As a university professor, his goal has always been to help students’ dreams come true.
Dr. Clark has been a member of the faculties of Spelman College, and Xavier University of Louisiana, where he served as Chair of the Department of Political Science. He served as a member of the faculty of Southern University at New Orleans Evening and Week-End Division for ten (10) consecutive years. Currently, he holds the distinguished post of Barron Hilton Endowed Professor (Political Science), and the Revius O. Ortique, Jr. Endowed Chair in Politics, Historical Inquiry, and Social Thought. He is also the Coordinator of Political Science at Dillard University, where he was elected Professor of the Year, by the student body, an unprecedented three (3) straight years. He was elected twice by the faculty to serve as Chair of the Faculty Council. He is the Director of Project Pericles (at Dillard), which centers on leadership development, and civic engagement. He is Founding Director of Dillard University’s Center for Law & Public Interest.
Dr. Clark’s service is diligent and diverse. As Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Finance Authority of New Orleans, he led efforts to provide economic development, and affordable housing through tax-exempt bond financing in Orleans Parish, Louisiana. Under his leadership, through the past 16 years, more than $200 million in home mortgages have been originated in the city of New Orleans. He worked and made available, to his community, an additional $24 million in low interest loans to support current citywide rebuilding efforts. As President of the Willows Housing Restoration Corporation, he worked to secure and provide $6 million for the purchase and renovation of the Willows Apartment Complex. This current economic activity serves as a catalyst for the “Rebirth of a (New Orleans) Neighborhood.”
Dr. Clark served as a Commissioner on the New Orleans Civil Service Commission (for seven years) where he worked to protect the integrity of the merit system and provide proper oversight regarding violations, appeals, and investigations. He understands the dynamics of state government and law enforcement. He served as Chair of the Louisiana State Police Commission. In that capacity, he sought to represent the public interest with skill and integrity. He is also state Treasurer of the Louisiana Association of Local Housing Finance Authorities.