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The Chicago Council on Global Affairs announced today Elizabeth Shackelford has joined the organization as a senior fellow on U.S. foreign policy. 

“Elizabeth’s professional and academic experience make her a tremendous asset to our research team,” Council President Ivo Daalder said. “By exploring what a restraint perspective looks like in U.S. foreign policy, she will increase the Council’s ability to expand public dialogue in our city and throughout our region on how the U.S. should engage the world." 

Shackelford was a career diplomat with the U.S. Department of State until December 2017, when she resigned in protest of the Trump administration.  

“As a former diplomat who has seen firsthand the destabilizing effects of a military-driven foreign policy, I'm committed to promoting a shift to diplomacy as our primary tool of engagement and limiting military force to the defense of core U.S. national security interests,” Shackelford said. “I'm grateful for this opportunity to focus on the study of this concept and building awareness around its impact." 

As a Foreign Service Officer, Shackelford served in Somalia, Kenya, South Sudan, Poland, and Washington, D.C., tracking political and conflict developments, advising Mission and Washington leadership, and advocating for U.S. interests with foreign counterparts. 

"Recent events have made clear that an informed and engaged public is as vital now as it's ever been,” Shackelford said. “Since I left the State Department, I've worked to raise awareness among Americans about what our government is doing abroad in its name, how we can do it better, and why that matters to us here at home.”  

“I feel strongly that this is an essential step to building a foreign policy that better serves our country and our citizens,” Shackelford said. “The Chicago Council has been leading in this mission for nearly a century, and doing so from America's heartland, where these messages need to be heard. I cannot think of a better place than the Council to pursue this mission myself." 

Shackelford was previously non-resident fellow with the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, and prior to joining the State Department, worked as an associate with Booz Allen Hamilton and an associate with the law firm Covington & Burling. 

The research position is funded by the Charles Koch Foundation to expand the conversation on U.S. grand strategy in Chicago and throughout the Midwest.  

Connect with Elizabeth
Senior Fellow, US Foreign Policy
Council staff Elizabeth Shackelford
Elizabeth Shackelford, former career US diplomat, joined the Council in January 2021. Her work focuses on building awareness and understanding of a "restraint" approach to foreign policy, which seeks to limit the use of military force to the defense of core US national security interests and favors robust diplomatic engagement.
Council staff Elizabeth Shackelford