For the past fourteen years, United States career diplomat Ambassador Thomas A. Shannon has been directly involved in the U.S. government dialogue with Brazil, including as Special Assistant to the President, Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs and, most recently, as President Barack Obama’s Ambassador to Brazil. In this latest capacity, he helped reshape the bilateral relationship, building high level dialogue mechanisms, focusing on common domestic priorities and increasingly shared global understandings, promoting commerce, investment, tourism, and facilitating engagement between our civil societies. In the closing months of his tenure, he also dealt with the fallout from the Edward Snowden allegations of surveillance, including the eventual postponement of President Dilma Rousseff’s planned State Visit.
Recently returned to Washington, D.C. as Senior Advisor to Secretary of State John Kerry, Ambassador Shannon remains engaged in U.S.-Brazil relations. He continues to be a strong advocate of a deeper and broader dialogue between the two governments, and remains convinced that American and Brazilian interests are more convergent than they are divergent, as illustrated by the growing engagement of the two societies in the realms of business, defense, science, education and culture. In Shannon’s view, the challenge of both governments is to catch up and align their policies to this reality.
On December 19th, the Brazil Institute will have the honor to welcome Ambassador Shannon back to the Wilson Center for a conversation on the outlook of the bilateral relations and issues related to his new role at the State Department.