Clifford Sloan is the current Special Envoy for Guantanamo Closure at the U.S. State Department. Previously, Sloan was the publisher of Slate magazine. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard College and served as a Supreme Court clerk for Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. He also was Vice President of Business Affairs and general counsel at Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, where he was responsible for developing strategic partnerships and managing WPNI's legal affairs. Additionally, Sloan served as Associate White House Counsel to President Bill Clinton. He is married to Mary Lou Hartman, former Director of the George J. Mitchell Scholarship program.
In March 2008, Sloan stepped down as publisher of Slate magazine to become a partner at the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, and Flom LLP. After stepping down at Slate and before he began work at Skadden, Mr. Sloan co-authored the book The Great Decision with David McKean. The book is about the case Marbury v. Madison.
On June 16, 2013, The New York Times, Fox News, National Public Radio, Reuters, and several other press sources reported that President Barack Obama was about to appoint Sloan as the new State Department envoy tasked to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention camp by negotiating with countries which might accept the transfer of captives.
The previous Special Envoy, Daniel Fried, was granted seniority high enough he was addressed as Ambassador. When Fried was reassigned on January 28, 2013, no replacement was announced, and it was reported that the office was being shut down. Commentators interpreted Fried's reassignment, with no replacement announced, as a sign that Obama had lost interest in trying to find countries which would allow accept the transfer of captives from Guantanamo. Fried had not been able to initiate a new transfer for more than a year prior to his reassignment.
- "Cliff Sloan", Newsweek on MSNBC.com, accessed November 22, 2006
- "Who We Are", Slate, accessed November 22, 2006
- "Slate Announces New Publisher", PR-Inside.com, accessed March 19, 2008
- "Obama picks lawyer as Guantanamo closure envoy, sources tell AP". Washington DC: Fox News. 2013-06-16. Retrieved 2013-06-16. "President Barack Obama has chosen a high-powered Washington lawyer with extensive experience in all three branches of the government to be the State Department's special envoy for closing down the military-run prison at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba.'"
- "Obama To Name Top Lawyer As Guantanamo Closure Envoy". Washington DC: National Public Radio. 2013-06-16. Retrieved 2013-06-16. "The Associated Press, which first reported the news, said Sloan will reopen the Office of Guantanamo Closure, which was shut in January. A formal announcement is expected Monday."
- "State Department to name lawyer Cliff Sloan to close Guantanamo". Washington DC: Reuters. 2013-06-16. Retrieved 2013-06-16. "The State Department on Monday is expected to announce the appointment of Washington lawyer Cliff Sloan to oversee the closure of the controversial Guantanamo detention camp, sources familiar with the decision said on Sunday."
- Appointment of Ambassador Daniel Fried, state.gov, 2009-03-12
- "Daniel Fried to lead dedicated term in Guantanamo closing", 2009-03-13
- Charlie Savage (2013-01-28). "State Dept. Closes Office Working on Shutting Guantánamo Prison". New York Times. Archived from the original on 2013-01-28. "The State Department on Monday reassigned Daniel Fried, the special envoy for closing the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and will not replace him, according to an internal personnel announcement. Mr. Fried’s office is being closed, and his former responsibilities will be “assumed” by the office of the department’s legal adviser, the notice said."
- Kristin Deasy (2013-01-28). "US State Department shuts down office tasked with closing Guantanamo: Move suggests priority shift on the part of the administration". Global Post. Archived from the original on 2013-01-28. "As of today, there is no longer a State Department office overseeing efforts to close the US prison at Cuba's Guantanamo Bay, and the person assigned to the task, Daniel Fried, has been given something else to do, reported The New York Times, citing an official statement."