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Kimber Shearer

Counsel and Vice President for Strategic Initiatives

Kimber Shearer was named counsel and vice president for strategic initiatives in August 2014.  Prior to that she served as director for governance where she oversaw the development and coordination of the Institute’s democratic governance programs and select global programs.  She joined IRI in 2005 as deputy director for Asia, and served as deputy director for Latin America and the Caribbean.

As deputy director for Latin America and the Caribbean Shearer was responsible for developing and managing innovative programs that strengthened democratic institutions and processes, increased democratic governance, developed substantive, issue-based policies, built the capacity of civil society organizations, and increased marginalized groups participation in the political process.  She oversaw a large staff and diverse programs in more than 12 countries in Latin America.  

Prior to joining IRI, Shearer held numerous positions at the U.S. Department of State and was a presidential management fellow from 2001-2003.  She worked in the office of European Union and regional affairs, where she was responsible for managing relations with the EU on selected global issues, including the EU’s justice and home affairs portfolio, counter-terrorism, democracy, human rights, rule of law and Latin America.

Prior to that, Shearer served as regional asylum advisor and senior editor for Europe and Eurasia in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, where she developed and coordinated U.S. foreign policy on democracy, rule of law and the protection of human rights; monitored human rights abuses in foreign countries and consulted with foreign governments on how to improve human rights; drafted advisory opinions and consulted with immigration judges and officials at the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice on asylum applications and torture convention cases.

During her time with the State Department, Shearer served on three overseas assignments.  In Georgia, she served as the acting Deputy Political Counselor.  In The Hague, she worked in the Office of the Legal Counsel where she coordinated with investigators and prosecutors at the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia and other international tribunals.  In Azerbaijan, she served as the acting Deputy Public Affairs Officer where she supported the development of strategies and programs that furthered public diplomacy goals to advance U.S. interests abroad.

Shearer has experience working on various aspects of political campaigns in the U.S.  She received her law degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law, a bachelor’s degree in political science from LaSalle University and is a member of the Maryland Bar.