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Career Conversations – Career Trajectories and Types in Foreign Policy | Foreign Policy in Practice Series
February 22 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm CST
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and Associated Colleges of the Midwest have joined together for a yearlong series on Foreign Policy in Practice.
Have you wondered what a career in foreign policy might encompass and how you might take your important first step in that direction? Join students from across the ACM in a conversation about different career types in foreign policy and hear from a panel of professionals with careers spanning the State Department, the intelligence community, the National Security Council, the Hill, advocacy organizations, and think tanks. Our panelists will briefly discuss their career paths and how these different foreign policy positions interact, followed by time for Q&A and rotating breakout sessions during which students can ask questions of the panelists, discuss potential career paths, and network with their ACM peers.
Foreign Policy Career Panelists
- Charles Carithers, Principal, Cornerstone and former professional staff in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the House Committee on Homeland Security
- Courtney Cooper, National security official currently serving in the U.S. Intelligence Community
- Matt Duss, Foreign Policy Advisor to Bernie Sanders, United States Senator for the State of Vermont
- Major Fadji Kumapley, U.S. Army Foreign Area Officer at the U.S. Central Command and former professional staff in CENTCOM’s Joint Intelligence Center. Previously served at the U.S. Embassy in Guinea, at U.S. Africa Command, and in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy on Africa.
- Elizabeth Shackelford, Senior Fellow, US Foreign Policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and former U.S. foreign service officer with the U.S. State Department
About the Panelists
Mr. Charles Carithers is a principal at Cornerstone Government Affairs, a consulting firm that advises clients with interest related to national security, defense, and Homeland security. He previously served as a Professional Staff Member on the Committee on Homeland Security in the House of Representatives. Before joining the Committee, Charles spent 11 years in the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), including work as a senior policy officer within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). Charles also served as a Brookings Institution legislative fellow with the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in the Senate. Charles is a 2005 graduate of Morehouse College and a 2007 graduate of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Courtney Cooper is a career national security official currently serving in the U.S. Intelligence Community. Prior to this role, she was an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, focused on policy issues related to South Asia, insurgencies, and global peace-building efforts. From 2015-2017, Ms. Cooper served as Director for Afghanistan on the National Security Council staff, coordinating and implementing the President’s policy priorities on Afghanistan. Prior to the White House, she worked in various roles related to national security and international trade, including at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Ms. Cooper holds a MA in International Affairs from George Washington University and BA degrees in Political Science and International Affairs from the University of Arizona.
Matthew Duss is a Foreign Policy Advisor for Senator Bernie Sanders. Previously, he was the President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, a policy analyst at the Center for American Progress, and director of the Center’s Middle East Progress program. His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, the Nation, Foreign Policy, Politico, the American Prospect, and Democracy. He appears regularly as a commentator on radio and television. He received an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Washington’s Jackson School of International Studies, and a BA in political science from the University of Washington.
Major Fadji K. Kumapley
Major Fadji Kumapley currently serves at the U.S. Central Command, in the Commander’s Action Group. He previously led an analytical team on Great Power Competition in the CENTCOM’s Joint Intelligence Center. As a U.S. Army Foreign Area Officer (FAO), with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa, Fadji served at the U.S. Embassy in Guinea as the Chief of the Office of Security Cooperation, as a Pol-Mil Officer at U.S. Africa Command, and in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy on Africa. Prior to becoming a FAO, MAJ Kumapley was a Military Intelligence and an Armor officer at U.S. Southern Command in Miami, FL, with the 1st Cavalry Division out of Ft. Bliss, Texas and with the 1st Infantry Division in Ft. Riley, Kansas. Fadji is fluent in French and conversational in Ewe. His civilian education consists of a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the Florida Institute of Technology and a Master of Arts degree in African Security Studies from the Naval Post-Graduate School. In 2014, MAJ Kumapley completed a 10-month military education exchange program at the Ecole Superieure Internationale de Guerre in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
Elizabeth Shackelford is a senior fellow in U.S. foreign policy with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. She was a career diplomat with the US Department of State until December 2017, when she resigned in protest of the Trump administration. Her resignation letter was the first to draw widespread attention to the declining state of diplomacy under Donald Trump. As a Foreign Service Officer, Shackelford served in Somalia, Kenya, South Sudan, Poland, and Washington, D.C. For her work in South Sudan during the outbreak of civil war in 2013, she received the Barbara Watson Award for Consular Excellence, the Department’s highest honor for consular work. Shackelford is the author of The Dissent Channel: American Diplomacy in a Dishonest Age, winner of the 2020 Douglas Dillon Book Award. Shackelford’s op-eds and commentary have been published in numerous outlets including Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and Slate. Shackelford has a BA from Duke University and a JD from the University of Pittsburgh.