Director of Citizen-Military Partnerships
Chris Clary is currently the Director of Citizen-Military Partnerships. An Army Special Forces combat veteran and proud Oklahoma University graduate, he has significant interagency experience in both the government and nonprofit sectors. Chris has been with Spirit of America since November 2013.
Chris first joined Spirit of America as an Afghanistan-based project manager, spending ten months devising and implementing targeted humanitarian and economic development projects throughout the southern and eastern regions of that country. His work, in partnership with US Military/Special Operations, US Department of State, and US Agency for International Development personnel, as well as local stakeholders, was critical to building host nation capabilities and improving the safety and survivability of deployed US personnel. Following that assignment, Chris worked throughout the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions, implementing projects in multiple countries, including Iraqi Kurdistan, the Philippines, Cambodia, and Vietnam. He assumed responsibility for Spirit of America’s European portfolio in early 2016, managing projects throughout the Baltics, Balkans, and Caucasus before moving into his current development role.
Prior to joining Spirit of America, Chris served as a Special Forces Weapons Sergeant in Afghanistan where he mentored Afghan Commandos from 2010-2011. He volunteered to return in 2012 to work with Afghan Local Police and Afghan National Police at a Village Stability site in central Afghanistan, and also took a leave of absence from SoA to deploy once more to Afghanistan with his Special Forces team in 2015. In addition, Chris was deployed on a training mission to Thailand in 2013.
Before enlisting, Clary studied abroad in Kenya and received his Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Oklahoma. He is a native of Norman, Oklahoma, and an Eagle Scout.