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Book Launch—The Dissent Channel: Reimagining U.S. Diplomacy

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In 2017, former diplomat Elizabeth Shackelford wrote a pointed resignation letter to her then boss, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. She had watched as the State Department was gutted, and now she urged him to stem the bleeding by showing leadership and commitment to his diplomats and the country. If he couldn’t do that, she said, “I humbly recommend that you follow me out the door.”

In The Dissent Channel, Shackelford chronicles the challenges of addressing crises overseas with an under-resourced State Department at the mercy of a foreign policy driven by inertia and short-term political needs. In this live-streamed conversation, Shackelford will discuss longstanding problems in U.S. foreign policy and how, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we can build better and more meaningful approaches to, and support for, U.S. diplomacy.


  • Sarah Margon


    Sarah Margon is the director of the foreign policy team at Open Society-U.S.

  • Tom Perriello

    Thomas Perriello


    Tom Perriello is executive director of Open Society-U.S.

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    Elizabeth Shackelford


    Elizabeth Shackelford was a career diplomat in the U.S. State Department until December 2017, when she resigned in protest of the Trump administration. She is currently a non-resident fellow with the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.

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    Abigail Spanberger


    Abigail Spanberger is the U.S. Representative for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, and serves on the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

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