Concerned about the lack of job opportunities for his students, Dr. Gavin Clarkson is running as a Republican to fill the open U.S. Senate to be a champion for those whose voices are not heard in the halls of Congress -- for the legal immigrants like his wife, Marina, who followed the rules to become a citizen; for the victims of illegal immigrant crime; for the struggling farmers and ranchers in our rural areas, particularly those living along our unprotected border; and for those who are economically disempowered due to federal regulations and corporate welfare schemes that benefit establishment lobbyists at the expense of entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Throughout his life, Dr. Clarkson has been an advocate for fairness, justice, and economic opportunity for all, particularly those who have been overlooked or ignored by the bi-coastal elites. Much of that drive, determination, and sense of public service comes from his upbringing. His father started out as an orphaned Native American kid during the Dust Bowl days of the Great Depression who had to dig through garbage cans for food. Nevertheless, his father would always say he was broke and not poor because “Poor is a state of mind. Broke is a temporary insufficiency of cash flow.” In 1943 he joined the Navy and became the first Native American to fly a jet, proof positive that poverty is not a life sentence. By 1963, Commander Clarkson became the senior nuclear targeting strategist at NATO headquarters in Paris. It was there he met Gavin’s mother, herself a tribal member who similarly rose up from abject poverty. She was also in the intelligence community with a top-secret security clearance.
An enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation, Dr. Clarkson earned his MBA from Rice University and his Doctorate in Technology and Operations Management from the Harvard Business School. Dr. Clarkson is also the only doctoral graduate in the history of the Harvard Business School who has placed in a livestock show.
While in Boston, he also chaired the board of a pro-life crisis pregnancy center and graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School where he was the managing editor of the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology and served as president of the Native American Law Students Association. Dr. Clarkson has held various university positions in Business, Law, Computer Science, and Information Systems since 1991 and has also taught at the 5th, 8th, and 12th grade levels.
Named the nation’s “leading scholar in tribal finance” by The Financial Times, Dr. Clarkson has been cited by Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today on matters of tribal finance, and rural economic development, subjects he has taught as a professor at the University of Michigan, University of Houston, University of Montana, and New Mexico State University. Dr. Clarkson has also taught courses on corporate law, entrepreneurship, and computer science and information systems.
Most recently, Dr. Clarkson served in the Department of the Interior as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Policy and Economic Development – Indian Affairs. In that position, he managed the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development and the Office of Self-Governance.
Dr. Clarkson is a member of the Federalist Society, the Southwest Coalition for Life, and is a lifetime member of both the National Rifle Association and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. He has one son, is a member of First Baptist Church of Las Cruces, and is a former national Country Western Dance champion. He is perhaps best known, however, for being forced to prove New Mexico’s statehood while applying for a marriage license in Washington, D.C. Now he is running to put New Mexico back on the map.