Derek Shearer

Former US ambassador, Chevalier Professor of Diplomacy and Director, McKinnon Center for Global Affairs, Occidental College

Ambassador Derek Shearer is Chevalier Professor of Diplomacy and World Affairs at Occidental College, Los Angeles, and director of the school's McKinnon Center for Global Affairs. Ambassador Shearer served as Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce, and then as US Ambassador to Finland, 1994-97. He initiated the coordinated strategy for the Nordic-Baltic region. and hosted the Clinto-Yeltsin summit in Helsinki. As his recommendation, President Clinton established the National Economic Council. He was co-author of the Clinton-Gore program, Putting People First. After diplomatic service, Ambassador Shearer was a fellow at the Economic Strategy Institute, and at the Woodrow Wilson Scholars Center in Washington, DC. He has been a visiting Woodrow Wilson fellow and ambassador-in-residence at US colleges. He served as a foreign policy adviser to Vice President Gore in the 2000 presidential campaign, and to Senator Hillary Clinton;s campaigns in 2008 and 2016. Ambassador Shearer's articles on foreign affairs and public policy have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Harvard International Review, and many weekly and monthly publications. He has authored numerous scholarly articles in books and journals, and has lectured at leading universities in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Australia. He has undertaken public diplomacy speaking tours for the State Department in China, Japan, Greece, Australia, Kazakhstan, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, and the Baltic States, and also taught at the University of Maryland, Tufts University, and UCLA. He has lectured in US foreign policy at Pembroke College, Cambridge, St. Andrew's University, St Anthony's College, Oxford, the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard, as well as at universities in Canada, New Zealand, Brazil and Germany. Ambassador Shearer has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Swedish Bicentennial fellowship, and a US-Japan Leadership fellowship, among other honors. A graduate of Culver City High School, Yale University, and Union Graduate School, he is listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, and other publications. He is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post. In addition to courses on diplomacy, US foreign policy, soft power, and sports and diplomacy, he has taught courses on globalization, the global city, and entrepreneurship. He has served on the boards of media and food companies, and as an adviser to Ziff Brothers investment company, and other firms. He served on the board if the nonprofit relief group Operation USA and is a member of the Pacific Council on International policy, and the Los Angeles World Affairs Council. Early in his career, he served in state and local government in California. He resides in Los Angeles with his wife Sue Toigo, a financial broker/dealer, two friendly dogs, Nick and Nora, and Vera the cat. Contact: Chamnan Lim, Deputy Administrator, McKinnon Center for Global Affairs, 1600 Campus Road, Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA 90041. Tel. 323-259-2681