Clifford Alexander is an American lawyer, businessman and public servant. In 1977 he was appointed the first African-American Secretary of the Army by President Jimmy Carter. His career has focused on improving living and working conditions for minorities and women. He played a role in the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and other civil rights legislation and helped guide the Army’s transition to an all-volunteer force.
From 1964 through 1967, he served as deputy assistant, deputy special counsel, and then associate special counsel to President Lyndon B. Johnson. Also under Johnson, he served as chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 1969, he became the first black partner at a major Washington law firm when he joined Arnold & Porter. He then went on to Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Alexander. In 1981, following his service as Secretary of the Army, he founded Alexander & Associates, Inc., a consulting firm that advises corporations on workforce inclusiveness. He holds a B.A. in government from Harvard University and a law degree from Yale.
The Honorable Jeh Charles Johnson, General Counsel of the Department of Defense, delivered a Dean’s Lecture at Yale Law School on Feb. 22, 2012. Johnson discussed lawyering in the Obama Administration in this lecture, titled “National Security Law, Lawyers and Lawyering in the Obama Administration.”
A corresponding panel discussion on the Sherrill Lecture took place on February 18, 2014 at 12:15 p.m. The panel, titled "The French Revolution in Judicial Review," featured Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science Bruce Ackerman '67, Robert R. Slaughter Professor of Law Jed Rubenfeld, and Alec Stone Sweet, Leitner Professor of International Law, Politics and International Studies.
Richard Ravitch ’58, former lieutenant governor of New York, delivered a Dean’s Lecture at Yale Law School on February 9, 2015, at 4:30 pm in the Faculty Lounge.
Ravitch’s lecture was titled “Is There a Risk That We Will Have More Detroits?” and looked at the fiscal distress of many U.S. states and cities.
Ravitch began his career in the construction business as a principal of the HRH Construction Corporation. In 1975, he was appointed by Governor Hugh Carey to serve as Chairman of the New York State Urban Development Corporation, a “moral obligation” financing and development agency with 30,000 dwelling units under construction, which had become insolvent and faced the first municipal bankruptcy since the 1930s. In 1979, Ravitch was appointed Chairman and CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York’s regional urban and suburban transportation system. He served as lieutenant governor of the State of New York from 2009 to 2010.