Stuart Chevalier Professor, Diplomacy and World Affairs
BA, Yale University; PhD, The Union Graduate School
Appointed In
McKinnon Center for Global Affairs at Johnson Hall, 202
T/Th 11:00am-12:00pm and by appointment via phone, email or Zoom.

Ambassador Shearer serves as Director of the McKinnon Center for Global Affairs, handling the college's international relations and directing the expansion of its international affairs programs.

Ambassador Derek Shearer is Chevalier Professor of Diplomacy and World Affairs at Occidental College in Los Angeles. He handles the college’s international relations, directing the expansion of its international affairs programs, and serves as Director of the McKinnon Center for Global Affairs. Ambassador Shearer’s most recent publication, America and the World in the Age of Obama, was published in April of 2017.

Derek Shearer served in the Clinton administration as an economics official in the Commerce Department, and then as Ambassador to Finland (1994-97). Among his many accomplishments were the creation of the administration’s coordinated strategy to the Nordic-Baltic region and the hosting of the Clinton-Yeltsin summit in Helsinki. At Ambassador Shearer’s recommendation during the presidential campaign, President Clinton established the National Economic Council in the White House. He was a co-author of the Clinton-Gore campaign program Putting People First. After diplomatic service, Ambassador Shearer was a fellow at the Economic Strategy Institute and then at the Woodrow Wilson Scholars Center in Washington, DC. He also has been a visiting Woodrow Wilson fellow and ambassador-in-residence at a number of colleges. He served as a foreign policy advisor to Vice President Gore during the 2000 Presidential campaign and to Senator Hillary Clinton in 2008.

Ambassador Shearer’s articles on foreign affairs and public policy have appeared in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Wall Street Journal, and many weekly and monthly publications. He has authored numerous scholarly and policy articles in books and journals – and has lectured at leading universities in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Australia, including speaking tours for the US government in China, Japan, Greece, Australia, Kazakhstan, Peru, Chile, Syria and the Baltic States – and taught at the University of Maryland, Tufts, and UCLA, as well as at Occidental. He has lectured on U.S. foreign policy at Pembroke College, Cambridge, St. Andrews University, St. Anthony’s College, Oxford, the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard as well as at leading universities in Canada, New Zealand and Brazil. Ambassador Shearer has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an US-Japan Leadership Fellowship, and a Swedish Bicentennial Fellowship, among other honors – and he is listed in Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America, and other such publications. He also has been a regular contributor to the Huffington Post.

In addition to courses on diplomacy, terrorism, and US foreign policy, Ambassador Shearer has taught courses on entrepreneurship, served on the boards of media and food companies, and as an international advisor to Ziff Brothers Investment Co, and other firms. He has served on the board of the nonprofit relief group Operation USA, and is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and the Los Angeles World Affairs Council. He currently resides in Pacific Palisades, California with his wife Sue Toigo, and Vera the cat.

To contact Shearer, please email or call Chamnan Lim at or 323-259-2681.