Shannon Simrell, Senior Policy Advisor
Shannon Simrell has worked to advance U.S. comprehensive security objectives in the Balkans, Central and Eastern Europe, Caucasus, and Central Asia since 1994.
In the 1990s, Shannon organized short-term democratization and environmental study tours in the United States for emerging leaders in Central and Eastern Europe and Russia. Between 2006 and 2008, she served first as a democratization officer then as acting regional center director at the OSCE mission in Kosovo.
For the next ten years, from within the U.S. Mission to the OSCE in Vienna, Austria, Shannon recruited, deployed, and supported more than 2,300 American experts serving in nearly 100 OSCE permanent, special, and election observation missions on behalf of the U.S. Department of State. During this time, she observed elections in Kosovo, Georgia, Ukraine, and Tajikistan, and conducted dozens of site visits to OSCE missions and institutions. As a return panelist at the OSCE’s Annual Meeting on Training and Recruitment, Shannon developed and presented recruitment, staffing, and retention models designed to bolster OSCE’s secondment system to OSCE delegates from more than 30 countries.
Immediately prior to joining the Helsinki Commission, Shannon served as the senior project manager on a contract enhancing U.S. Embassy security worldwide.
Shannon holds a dual B.A. in Philosophy and French Language from the University of Scranton, and spent a year studying in France. She also holds a Master of Arts in International Education from the School for International Training in Vermont.