Elizabeth Shackelford is a Non-Resident Fellow at the Quincy Institute and an independent consultant. She was a career diplomat with the State Department until December 2017, when she resigned in protest of the Trump administration. Her resignation letter was the first to draw widespread attention to the declining state of diplomacy under Trump. She is the author of The Dissent Channel: American Diplomacy in a Dishonest Age (2020), which shows firsthand that the crisis in our foreign policy predates current efforts to sideline the diplomatic corps.
As a Foreign Service Officer, Shackelford served in Somalia, Kenya, South Sudan, Poland, and Washington, D.C., analyzing information on political and conflict developments, advising Mission and Washington leadership, and advocating for U.S. interests with foreign counterparts. For her work in South Sudan, Shackelford received the Barbara Watson Award for Consular Excellence, the Department’s highest honor for consular work.
Previously, Shackelford was an associate with Booz Allen Hamilton and led USAID projects to assess business environments in developing countries. Shackelford was also an associate with the law firm Covington & Burling, where she focused on international trade.
Shackelford’s commentary and interviews have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, CNN, Foreign Policy, NPR, PBS, and MSNBC. She also speaks with community groups, students, and political organizations to raise broader awareness of our foreign policy challenges. She is chair of the Rochester VT Democratic Committee and a member of the Emerge VT 2019 class. Born and raised in Mississippi, Shackelford now resides in Rochester, VT.