IOA Diplomatic Fellowship Program

An annual residency program for mid-level foreign policy professionals to further IOA’s  mission and engage with civic, business, academic and governmental institutions in Southern California.

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Diplomatic Fellow

Shane Christensen

Shane is the first U.S. diplomatic fellow at the Institute of the Americas. He comes to the Institute  from Porto Alegre, where he was the U.S. Consul General responsible for diplomatic relations with  southern Brazil from 2020-23. Prior to that, Shane served as chief of staff to the State  Department’s Western Hemisphere Affairs bureau and also as senior watch officer in the  Operations Center, which is the Department’s crisis management center. Outside of the United  States, Shane has served at the U.S. embassies in Mexico City, Havana and Kabul, the U.S. missions  to the United Nations in New York and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and  Development (OECD) in Paris, and the U.S. Consulate General in Dubai. Shane is a trained  executive coach and has also taught leadership and negotiation at the Foreign Service Institute. 

A California native, Shane earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California,  Berkeley, an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University, where he was a  Fulbright Scholar, and a Master’s in Public Administration from the Kennedy School, where he  was a Harvard Presidential Scholar. Shane speaks Portuguese, Spanish, and French. Prior to  joining the State Department, he worked as a freelance travel writer and is the author of past  Frommer’s guides to the Grand Canyon, Dubai, and Argentina and co-author of other Frommer’s  books, including on Mexico. Shane is married to Romy Christensen and has two wonderfully  mischievous children, Jake and Matilda. They are thrilled to join the Institute and San Diego  community this year.