Born and raised in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Clarence’s parents instilled within him and his two brothers a strong commitment to public service. Fun fact: today, all three of them are doctors.

But as far back as when he attended college at Case Western Reserve University, Clarence showed an interest in pursuing a career that allowed him to explore the relationship between public policy and public health. After graduating as a double major in Biology and Political Science, Clarence chose to attend the University of Maryland School of Medicine, valuing the opportunities that came with being in the Baltimore/Washington region.

During his medical training, he was able to work for Congressman Henry Waxman and Maryland Delegate Dan Morhaim—two champions for public health policy in their respective chambers. His time with both officials reinforced his belief that good policy is the result of smart, effective legislators working together to bring about meaningful change.

After graduating, Clarence went on to join the faculty at Johns Hopkins University, where he currently directs the preventive medicine residency program at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and continues to serve patients at a Hopkins occupational health clinic.

But when all three state delegates in the district where Clarence lived retired ahead of the 2014 election, he chose to run for office, believing that his experience in public health would give him a unique perspective in Annapolis. And after spending 18 months knocking on 20,000 voters’ doors to meet his future constituents, he was elected to represent Maryland’s 12th Legislative District. After four years in the House of Delegates, he ran for and was elected to serve in the State Senate in 2018.

Clarence has been proud to represent Marylanders in Howard, Baltimore, and Anne Arundel Counties for more than 9 years, sponsoring and helping to pass critical pieces of legislation capping the cost of insulin at no more than $1 per day, expanding healthcare access to expecting mothers and undocumented immigrants, and enacting one of the strongest environmental protection bills in the nation.

He currently serves as the Chair of the Howard County Senate Delegation, the Senate Chair of the Joint Audit and Evaluation Committee, the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Fair Practices and State Personnel Oversight, and as a member of the Senate Finance Committee. As the Vice Chair of the Executive Nominations Committee, Clarence became the first Asian American in the history of the Senate of Maryland to serve as a Chair or Vice Chair of a standing committee. 

Clarence lives with his wife Sarah, 2-year-old daughter Lainey, and dog Mellie in the Harper’s Choice village of Columbia.