Thomas A. Shannon, who received a B.A. in government and philosophy at the College of William & Mary in 1980, has been nominated by President Obama to serve the U.S. as Ambassador to the Federative Republic of Brazil.
Shannon is no stranger to Foreign Service, a career he began in 1984. Since October 2005 he has served as the Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs. Shannon also served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council from 2003 to 2005. From 2002 to 2003, he was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the Department of State, where he was Director of Andean Affairs from 2001 to 2002. Shannon was U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS) from 2000 to 2001. He served as Director for Inter-American Affairs at the National Security Council from 1999 to 2000; as Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela from 1996 to 1999; and as Regional Labor Attaché at the U.S. Consulate General in Johannesburg, South Africa from 1992 to 1996. During his career as a Foreign Service Officer, Shannon also served as Special Assistant to the Ambassador at the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil from 1989 to 1992; as Country Officer for Cameroon, Gabon, and Sao Tome and Principe from 1987 to 1989; and as the Consular/Political Rotational Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City, Guatemala from 1984 to 1986. In addition to his bachelor degree from William & Mary, Shannon holds a Doctorate and a Master's degree in Politics from Oxford University.
College records show there are currently two other alumni also serving as U.S. Ambassadors abroad - Janet Sanderson ('77), U.S. Ambassador to Haiti and James Keith ('79), U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia.