RICHMOND– The head of the Virginia Department of Corrections has been appointed to a prestigious national group of public and private sector fellows who make a lifetime commitment to improving government.

Director Harold W. Clarke was inducted as a National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) Fellow during ceremonies on November 18 in Washington, D.C.

The National Academy of Public Administration is a non-profit, non-partisan organization whose work is directed primarily by Congress or executive branch leadership seeking assistance with complex problems that require subject matter expertise and independence.

“Virginia has become known as a national leader in corrections,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “Under Harold Clarke’s leadership, Virginia has prioritized reentry and maintained one of the country’s lowest recidivism rates. I am not surprised Director Clarke’s leadership was noticed and honoured with this invitation to the Academy; he is a deserving candidate and will serve them well.”

Director Clarke became the Virginia Department of Corrections’ leader in November 2010 after appointment by Governor Bob McDonnell. Clarke was then re-appointed by Governor Terry McAuliffe in 2014. He began his corrections career in Nebraska after graduating from Doane College, rising through the ranks to become Nebraska’s Director of Corrections in 1990. In 2005, he became the Secretary of the Washington State Department of Corrections, and in 2007, he became Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Corrections.

With his NAPA induction, Director Clarke joins an exclusive club of more than 800 NAPA fellows who come from a wide range of professions, including former cabinet officials, governors, prominent scholars, business executives, and public administrators.

NAPA fellows include Supreme Court Justice (retired) Sandra Day O’Connor; former Secretary of the U.S. Department of State Colin Powell; former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker; former Virginia Governor L. Douglas Wilder; William & Mary Chancellor and former Secretary of the Department of Defense Robert Gates; former Richmond City Manager Robert Bobb; former Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources Kay Cole James; and former Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf.

Director Clarke’s recent awards include the Reentry Champion Award from Offender Aid Restoration Inc. in 2012, the Visionary Leadership Award from the Muslim Chaplain Services of Virginia in 2013, the William H. Hastie Award from the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice in July 2014, and the E.R. Cass Correctional Achievement Award from the American Correctional Association in August 2014.

In August 2010, he completed a two-year term as President of the American Correctional Association. Director Clarke has also served as President of the Association of State Correctional Administrators and served on the Board of Trustees of Doane College.