C. Boyden Gray Center Adds Paul D. Clement, Steven A. Engel, and Donald F. McGahn II as Distinguished Practitioners in Residence

Distinguished Practitioners in Residence Initiative

Washington, D.C. (March 1, 2022) – The C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State announced the additions of Paul D. Clement, Steven A. Engel, and Donald F. McGahn II, who will affiliate with the Center as distinguished practitioners in residence.  The move further cements the Gray Center as a leading research institution for exploring legal questions facing the modern administrative state and its role within the federal constitutional separation of powers.

“Paul, Steve, and Don have served at the highest levels of the federal government and have extraordinarily distinguished records,” said Co-Executive Director Jennifer Mascott.  “Their former positions as U.S. Solicitor General, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, and White House Counsel are among the most important legal positions in the Executive Branch.  Paul, Steve, and Don’s experience will bring unparalleled expertise to the Gray Center through their counsel and participation in Gray Center conferences and programs plumbing constitutional and legal questions on the forefront of deregulatory litigation and appellate practice.”

Paul D. Clement will join the Gray Center as the Justice Joseph Story Distinguished Practitioner in Residence where he will lend expertise related to his former role as the Executive Branch’s top oral advocate to the U.S. Supreme Court in the position of solicitor general, sometimes described as the tenth justice.  Mr. Clement’s Gray Center affiliation builds on his longstanding and continued service as a Distinguished Lecturer in Law at the Georgetown University Law Center where he has taught a separation of powers seminar for many years.  Mr. Clement served as the 43rd Solicitor General of the United States and as both Acting Solicitor General and Principal Deputy Solicitor General.

Currently, Mr. Clement is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, with a practice focused on appellate matters, constitutional litigation, and strategic counseling.  As one of the most experienced and sought-after oral advocates in the country, Mr. Clement has argued more cases in the U.S. Supreme Court than any other lawyer since the year 2000.  The over 100 cases he has argued before the Court include some of the country’s most high-profile matters such as McConnell v. FEC, Tennessee v. Lane, United States v. Booker, MGM v. Grokster, ABC v. Aereo, and Hobby Lobby v. Burwell.  Upon graduation from Harvard Law School, Mr. Clement served as a law clerk to Judge Laurence H. Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and then to Associate Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court.

“I am pleased to affiliate with the Gray Center in addition to my continued work with students and the legal academy at the Georgetown University Law Center,” said Clement.  “The Gray Center is engaged in significant scholarship and outreach to the legal community, and I look forward to collaborating on cutting-edge legal questions related to constitutional principles and appellate practice.  As a law clerk to Justice Scalia and an admirer of Boyden, I am particularly pleased to play a role at the Gray Center at Scalia Law.”

Steven A. Engel will serve as the Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at the Gray Center where he is helping to co-launch a new Gray Center division providing educational programming on Capitol Hill.  The new Hill division, titled Article I Venture, will include a fellows program and leadership of a board of experienced private practitioners and academics available to advise Hill staff on challenging legal and constitutional questions related to public policy.  Mr. Engel’s new Gray Center affiliation builds on his role as adjunct professor at Scalia Law School co-teaching a student seminar on the Separation of Powers in the Political Branches.

Mr. Engel is a partner in the Washington, D.C. and New York offices of Dechert LLP, where he represents and advises clients on novel and complex legal issues in high-profile trial and appellate matters.  From 2017-2021, Mr. Engel served as Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel within the U.S. Department of Justice.  In this role, he advised the President of the United States and cabinet secretaries on constitutional and statutory matters implicating national security, administrative law, criminal law, congressional oversight, and executive orders.  He received the Department of Justice’s highest honor, the Edmund J. Randolph Award.  Mr. Engel previously served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel during the George W. Bush Administration and is currently a member of the Advisory Committee on Rules for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.  He has testified before committees of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.  Upon graduation from Yale Law School, Mr. Engel served as a clerk to Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and then as a law clerk to Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The Gray Center is conducting important work in its role as a bridge between the private legal community, public policymakers, academics, and top constitutional law and appellate advocates,” said Engel.  “I am pleased to partner with the Center in its new initiatives to bring increased separation of powers expertise to policymakers and congressional staff and to engage Scalia Law students in the important study of constitutional structure through classroom instruction and practical experience in the Center’s Separation of Powers Clinic.”

Donald F. McGahn will serve as the Chief Justice William Howard Taft Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at the Gray Center where he will provide insight and engage in discussions on deregulatory litigation and the role of the Executive Branch and Congress within the federal separation of powers.

Don McGahn is a partner at Jones Day, where he chairs the Government Regulation Practice.  Based in Washington, D.C., Mr. McGahn advises clients on crisis management and strategic response involving federal and state government authorities. He brings over 25 years of experience to proceedings before all three branches of government, including regulatory, oversight, and enforcement matters and litigation arising from government regulation or action.  To date he has successfully guided the President of the United States, U.S. Supreme Court Justices, and Fortune 500 CEOs through some of this century’s most divisive and closely watched congressional hearings and investigations.

Prior to rejoining Jones Day in 2019, Mr. McGahn served as White House Counsel.  In that role, Mr. McGahn advised President Donald J. Trump and his senior cabinet officials on all legal issues concerning President Trump’s administration, drove the judicial selection process for a record number of federal judges including two Supreme Court justices, and spearheaded President Trump’s deregulatory efforts to stymie the growth of the administrative state. Following Mr. McGahn’s tenure at the White House, the President appointed him to the Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States, a nonpartisan agency dedicated to promoting improvement to administrative agency processes.

Mr. McGahn’s accomplishments have been recognized at the highest levels of government.  U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated that Mr. McGahn concluded his service “not only as the best White House Counsel I’ve seen on the job, but more broadly, as one of the most successful and consequential aides to any President in recent memory.”  Mr. McGahn was also nominated by President George W. Bush in 2008, and confirmed by the Senate to serve as a member of the Federal Election Commission.  “I am pleased to join my colleagues at the Gray Center as we work to educate the next generation of leaders on the relationships between Congress, the Executive Branch, and the courts,” said McGahn.

“The modern administrative state presents fundamental questions of constitutional self-government—some timeless questions, and some unprecedented ones,” said Co-Executive Director Adam White.  “The Gray Center’s rapid expansion in the past year reflects our commitment to informing the work of judges, scholars, policymakers, and practitioners. We are proud to collaborate with many of the sharpest and most experienced legal minds in the nation—as exemplified by these three distinguished practitioners.”


The Gray Center is housed at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School.  It is a leading hub of academic research and debate on legal and policy issues regarding the federal separation of powers and the administrative state.  It sits at the intersection of the development of legal theory, legal practice, and legal education on constitutional questions addressing executive branch operations in relation to Congress and the judiciary.  The new affiliations of Mr. Clement, Mr. Engel, and Mr. McGahn will help expand the footprint of the Gray Center, forging enhanced connections between the research work of the Gray Center and the day-to-day litigation and deregulatory counseling efforts taking place in courtrooms across the country and on Capitol Hill.