Clifford Hudson spent 35 years of his career at Sonic Corp., an Oklahoma City-based, publicly held company that owns, operates and franchises SONIC Drive-In restaurants. Most recently, he was Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of this public company with more than 3,500 franchised and company-operated drive-in restaurants. He left the company upon its sale in December 2018 and joined the law firm Crowe & Dunlevy as Of Counsel in the firm’s Oklahoma City office.
Hudson graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in History, from which he also received in 2011 an honorary doctoral degree in humane letters. He holds a J.D. from Georgetown University, where he served as Chair of the Board of Visitors from 2013-2016. In 2014, Georgetown University awarded him the John Carroll Award, its highest alumni recognition.
Hudson served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), a presidential appointment, from 1994-2001. He served as Chairman of the Oklahoma City School Board from 2001-2008, a position created in 2000 as part of a $530 million turnaround of a 40,000 student, inner-city Oklahoma City Public School system, for which he received the 2012 David T. Kearns Award for Excellence and Innovation in Education. He served as Trustee of the Ford Foundation (New York) from 2006-2017 and is a past Chair of the Board of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.