Elizabeth Shackelford, a career diplomat who resigned from the U.S. State Department in 2017 in protest of President Trump, will speak at the Harwood Union High School library on Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 6:30 p.m.
As a diplomat, Shackelford did not always agree with U.S. policy, so she worked within the system to try to foster positive change. Under the Trump administration, working from the inside began to look futile.
With her resignation, Shackelford was free to speak out and get involved. She will share her experience of engaging in the resistance and the critical importance of the roles she believes every American must play.
During her tenure with the Foreign Service, Shackelford served in the U.S. embassies in Warsaw, Poland, and Juba, South Sudan; the State Department’s 24-hour Operations Center (the Watch) in Washington, D.C.; and the U.S. Mission to Somalia in Nairobi and Mogadishu.
For her work in South Sudan during the outbreak of civil war, she received the Barbara Watson Award for Consular Excellence, the State Department’s highest honor for consular work.
In her resignation letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Shackelford cited the administration’s failure to promote and defend democracy and human rights, and the dangers of its dismissal of diplomacy and the country’s role in the international world order.
Her resignation letter, first shared by Foreign Policy, drew widespread attention to the declining state of the State Department and a deepening sense of alarm by career diplomats.
As an independent consultant, Shackelford focuses on human rights advocacy, conflict mitigation, political affairs and democratic processes. She is currently writing a book about her experience, “The Dissent Channel: An American Diplomat in a Dishonest Age,” which will be published by PublicAffairs in 2020.
She now lives in Rochester, Vt.
Her appearance is sponsored by Indivisible Mad River Valley, part of a national grassroots effort to support social change.