The Honorable Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. is senior counsel in the Government Advocacy practice at King & Spalding. He advises clients on a broad array of policy matters and their interactions with the federal government. Having served as Governor, U.S. Congressman, state legislator, and civil litigator, he counsels clients on an array of government matters, with particular expertise in health care, finance, transportation, and economic development.
As governor, Ehrlich achieved a remarkable record of accomplishments:
Governor Ehrlich made record investments in public schools and authored Maryland’s first public charter schools law, enabling more than 7,000 students to attend 30 new public charter schools. He also doubled funding for need-based college scholarships, helping college enrollment reach an all-time high and directed $800 million in operating and capital funding towards Maryland’s four Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Governor Ehrlich authored the historic Chesapeake Bay Restoration Act to restore America’s largest estuary. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation called it, “the most important environmental achievement in twenty years.” He also signed into law the Healthy Air Act, incentivized public and private use of renewable energy, and preserved 80,000 acres of Maryland’s landscape.
Governor Ehrlich launched construction on 123 statewide transportation projects in four years, and managed the most successful military base realignment and closure strategy in the nation. He toughened penalties for sex offenders, drunk driving, and witness intimidation and established Maryland’s first Office of Homeland Security.
Governor Ehrlich earned national commendation for empowering individuals with disabilities. He created the nation’s first [state] cabinet-level Department of Disabilities, for which he earned the “Highest Recognition Award” from the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Prior to running for public office, Ehrlich was associated with the Baltimore law firm of Ober, Kaler, Grimes and Shriver, where he practiced civil litigation for eleven years. In 2011, he was a founding Member of the Baltimore office of the law firm Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice PLLC.
Governor Ehrlich was born and raised in the working-class Baltimore suburb of Arbutus, Maryland to Nancy Ehrlich, a legal secretary, and Bob Ehrlich Sr., a former marine and Korean War vet who worked as a commission salesman at Archway Ford. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Politics from Princeton University in 1979, where he captained the freshman and varsity football teams and his Juris Doctorate from Wake Forest University in 1982 where he supported himself as a graduate assistant on the football staff.
Governor Ehrlich has been recognized on many occasions for his outstanding public service. In 2009, he became one of a handful of U.S. Citizens to receive the Order of Diplomatic Service award from the Government of Korea.
To continue his legacy as a leader on the issue of executive clemency, in 2013-2020 Governor Ehrlich partnered with Catholic University's Columbus School of Law creating the "CUA Law/Ehrlich Partnership on Clemency" which makes executive clemency fairer, more common, and more transparent. The Partnership provided direct legal services to persons seeking pardons or commutations.
Governor Ehrlich has authored five books - Turn This Car Around (2011/BenBella), America: Hope for Change (2013/Post Hill Press), Turning Point (2015/Select Books), Bet You Didn't See That One Coming (2017/Post Hill Press), and Original, Unconventional, & Inconvenient: Donald J. Trump and his MAGA Movement (2021/Post Hill Press). In addition to his books, his columns have appeared in The Western Journal, The Washington Examiner, The Washington Post, The Weekly Standard, and National Review Online.
Governor Ehrlich is married to Kendel Sibiski Ehrlich, the former Deputy Director of the President's Office of National Drug Control Policy, former Director of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Trafficing (SMART), and Acting Deputy Director of The Bureau of Justice Assistance. She is also a former public defender, drug court prosecutor, and corporate attorney.
The Ehrlichs have two sons - Drew a graduate of Washington & Jefferson College, where he was football captain and Joshua, a redshirt freshman quarterback at Susquehanna University. They have been active in a wide variety of charitable activities, most notably the Maryland Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, where Kendel Ehrlich is a past board chair.
Together, the Ehrlich’s host the weekly podcast “Bottom Line with Bob and Kendel Ehrlich.”