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Buckle Up: Global Foreign Policy Trends and American Diplomacy


Thomas Shannon

This event is part of a speaker series at Duke on the challenges of global governance funded by the Ambassador Dave and Kay Phillips Family International Lectureship.

Thomas A. Shannon, Jr., was confirmed as undersecretary of state for political affairs on Feb. 12, 2016, after serving as counselor of the State Department. He is only the seventh Foreign Service officer to hold the position of counselor since World War II, and the first in 32 years. Shannon served as U.S. ambassador to Brazil from 2010-2013 and assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs from 2005-2009. He also worked as special assistant to President George W. Bush and senior director for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council from 2003-2005. Shannon was deputy assistant secretary of state of Western Hemisphere Affairs from 2002 to 2003. He joined the Foreign Service in 1984. Previous assignments include Guatemala, South Africa and Venezuela. Raised in San Diego, California, Shannon received a bachelor's degree from the College of William and Mary in 1980, where he majored in government and philosophy, and earned a doctorate in philosophy in 1983 from Oxford University.