Aaron Perry


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  • Episode 88 – General Wesley Clark on Democracy, Climate, Technology & Leadership
Stewardship & Sustainability Series
Stewardship & Sustainability Series
Episode 88 - General Wesley Clark on Democracy, Climate, Technology & Leadership

In this special episode, General Wesley Clark discusses the rise of fascism and authoritarianism within democratic governments, the essential imperative of civic engagement, the climate crisis, technologies and innovations addressing the crisis, and the important role of entrepreneurs and organizational leaders amidst all this complexity.

General Clark discusses the process of great leadership – which is necessarily grounded in service to others: (1) gain trust, (2) establish legitimacy, (3) take responsibility the “right way” (4) delegate authority, (5) define strategy, (6) monitor and know the details, and (7) adapt and modify the strategy. He also discusses how important it is for each and every one of us to “be a good citizen”(!) and that it is up to each of us to restore harmony to American politics.

He understands and articulates that, instead of riling people through fear and hatred, national leadership is needed to create jobs, improve infrastructure, and innovate technologies to mitigate the climate and ecological crises. Recognizing that capital is “sloshing around” on the sidelines, while increasing numbers of Americans are beset by avoidable poverty, policy leadership is now required at the scope and scale of Franklin D. Roosevelt (CCC and New Deal) and John F. Kennedy (Race to the Moon) to overcome the complex and systemic challenges we’re now facing.

General Wesley Clark retired in 2000 from his position as NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, where he led NATO operations in the Balkans, and managed NATO military and US military engagement in some 89 countries. His military awards and decorations include the Ranger tab, US Defense Distinguished Service Medal (5 awards), US Army Distinguished Service Medal (2 Awards), Silver Star, Legion of Merit (3 awards) Bronze Star (2 awards, and Purple Heart. He has received the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, the US Department of State Distinguished Service award, honorary knighthoods from the British and Dutch governments, Commander in the French Legion of Honor and some twenty additional foreign awards.

Since his military retirement he has been a businessman, author and commentator. Since 2010 he has chaired his own boutique investment bank, Enverra. He has served on numerous public and private boards, including boards for major US private equity firms. He has his own consulting company, Wesley K. Clark and Associates. Altogether, he has worked with more than 100 US and overseas companies in the energy, infrastructure, security, and financial space, as board member, consultant, banker or advisor. His work has taken him to Europe, China, Indonesia, Latin America, and Africa. He is currently on one publicly traded company board and several private boards.

General Clark specializes in small companies and in start-ups, where his leadership skills and business experience bring the most value to entrepreneurial efforts. He has worked with wind, solar, electric motor, and battery companies, as well as in various consumer products.

General Clark is a 1966 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated as Valedictorian, with an engineering degree and concentration in national security studies. Selected as a Rhodes Scholar, he attended Magdalen College, Oxford for two years and received his B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. He also served as White House Fellow, 1975-76 in the Office of Management and Budget. He is a graduate of Armor Officer Basic and Advanced courses, the Distinguished Graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College, 1975, where he received a Masters of Military Arts and Science, and a 1983 graduate of the US National War College. He has received numerous Honorary Doctorate Degrees.

General Clark is a strong believer in public service. He is the founding Chairman of City Year Little Rock, a former member of the Little Rock airport Commission, a Director of the Atlantic Council, and works with various think tanks on important policy issues. In his last effort he Co-Chaired the National Commission on Grid Resilience.


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