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Behind the Suits: Meet Mark Clookie

With 4 billion people living outside of the protection of the law, IJM relentlessly works to prove that justice is possible for the poor. This fight against everyday violence requires teams of investigators and lawyers, but also directors, executive assistants and many other highly qualified individuals with a variety of interesting backgrounds.

Check out the video below to meet the previous director of NCIS and our current VP of Investigations & Law Enforcement Development, and gain a sneak peek into his role at IJM in the Q&A.

Q: In summary, what are your responsibilities as the Vice President of Investigations & Law Enforcement Development?

A: As the VP for Investigations and Law Enforcement Development (ILED), I have the responsibility of ensuring that all of our investigators receive the best possible guidance, training and equipment that our budget will allow. In addition to contributing to safe and effective daily operations, I must also provide strategic vision and direction to ensure IJM remains relevant in this field and has the greatest possible impact in reducing the prevalence of criminal activity and improving host nation public justice systems.

Q: Was it difficult to adapt to the nature of the crimes that IJM investigates in comparison to those of NCIS investigations?

A: Although NCIS Special Agents are trained to combat a very broad range of felonious criminal activity—including CSA, OSEC and human trafficking—we did not address crimes such as “land grabbing” or “bonded labor.” The transition, however, was not difficult. Each crime has unique legal elements that you must prove for successful prosecution; but the means by which you disclose those elements can often be applied to many types of criminal investigations. Therefore, once you know the elements, you can then apply any number of the investigative techniques in your inventory to identify the perpetrator and perfect the case.

Q: When reflecting back on your 31 years in NCIS, what lessons learned stand out that you carry with you in your work at IJM?

A: My combined 33 years of law enforcement experience—two local and 31 federal (NCIS)—have taught me many things, but those that are most germane to the IJM mission are the importance of ensuring the safety of our staff, developing strong partnerships, leveraging technology as a force multiplier, not being satisfied with the status quo, developing strategies that will help you remain relevant and impactful, and being agile and resourceful in effectively confronting criminals as they adjust their methods of operation.

Join IJM in the fight to end everyday violence and modern day slavery by becoming a Freedom Partner today.

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Petra Kooman

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pkooman@ijm.ca
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