Briefing Room


2L’s op-ed featured on CNN

February 14, 2013 | Students

Derek Clinger, a 2L at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, was a featured author on the website for the CNN show Global Public Square with Fareed Zakaria, regarding his opinions on the current corruption crisis in Egypt.

His op-ed piece, “Egypt’s corruption woes,” focuses on comparing President Mohamed Morsi’s administration to the former regime. Clinger explains that while much of the major corruption in the government seems to have died down, “low-level corruption” is proving to be a serious issue.

He offers the example of missing money for railway renovations and a string of recent rail accidents, including one incident that left 51 children dead when their bus was hit by a train on the way to school. Upper-level members of the government are also accused of political kickbacks and cronyism, and while the administration promised to release the results of its investigation in October, it has yet to do so.

The piece began as a memo assigned to Clinger by Sahar Aziz at the Egyptian-American Rule of Law Association, where he is an intern. The organization’s goal is to improve governmental transparency and accountability in Egypt.

“I had no expectation it was going to be considered for (CNN),” he said. “It was a nice surprise.”

In five days, the piece was tweeted more than 50 times and recommended to more than 200 users on Facebook. Though Clinger hasn’t publicized the piece much on his own, he has shown it to family and friends.

“(The feedback has) all been really positive and caught a lot of people off-guard,” he said. “It caught me off guard.”

With an undergraduate degree in Middle Eastern Studies from Ohio State, Clinger feels the piece and his internship tie in nicely with his studies and experiences at Moritz. Clinger is the president of the Law School Democrats as well as the vice president of the American Constitution Society.

His focus on international studies at Ohio State, along with his interest in politics and his current internship, has led him to pursue an interest in election law.

“Studying the Middle East and studying the region’s electoral systems led to a lot of reflection back on the American system, and that’s what led to my interest in the election field in general,” he said.

While he hopes to one day pursue a career in election administration, the success of this op-ed has led him to think about his options in international law.

“I hope for more opportunities like this,” he said.