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Kimber Shearer

Counsel | Vice President, Strategy and Development

Kimber Shearer serves as Counsel and Vice President for Strategy and Development. In her role, she leads efforts on organizational strategy, new business and strategic partnerships. She oversees the Center for Global Impact, which cultivates innovative, evidence-based programming, and provides resources, tools and expertise to address emerging trends and challenges to democracy. Shearer also serves as IRI’s in-house legal counsel.

Shearer previously served as IRI’s director for governance where she oversaw the development and coordination of the Institute’s democratic governance programs and select global programs. Prior to that, she served as deputy director for Latin America and the Caribbean and previously in Asia, where she was responsible for developing and managing innovative programs that strengthened political and electoral processes, built the capacity of civil society organizations, and increased marginalized populations participation in political and civic processes. She oversaw a large staff and diverse programs across both regions.

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, and rule of law. 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 is the co-chair of the democracy, rights and governance working group on the Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid (ACVFA). 

Shearer earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law, and a B.A. in Political Science from LaSalle University. She is a member of the Maryland Bar.