Professor Derek Shearer
Former US Ambassador to Finland and professor at Occidental University
Chairman of the Plenary Sessions
National and Regional Environmental Policies:
From National to Regional: USA-California-Los Angeles-Santa Monica



Ambassador Derek Shearer is currently Chevalier Professor of Diplomacy and World Affairs at Occidental College in Los Angeles. He also serves as Director of Global Affairs, handling the college’s international relations and directing the expansion of its international affairs programs.

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. 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 the 2007-2008 Presidential primary contests. The report of his Occidental seminar on American Grand Strategy—titled “Rebranding America” is available online at:

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, and Australia, including speaking tours for the US government in China, Japan, South Korea, Greece, Australia, the Baltic States, Chile, New Zealand and Kazakhstan, Syria, Peru and Bolivia—and taught at the University of Maryland, Tufts, and UCLA, as well as at Occidental. He 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 is also a senior fellow at the Center for Communication Leadership at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School. Earlier in his career, he was an official in state and local government in California. President Carter appointed him to the founding board of directors of The National Consumer Coop Bank. His public policy books include Economic Democracy ( co author Martin Carnoy), A New Social Contract (with Carnoy and Rumsberger), Putting People First- 1992 Program of Clinton-Gore Campaign (with Magaziner, Reich et al); and the Public Policy Reader, edited with Lee Webb. At his recommendation, President Clinton established the National Economic Council in the White House in 1993.

Ambassador Shearer has also taught courses in business and entrepreneurship, served on the boards of media and food companies, and as an international advisor to Ziff Brothers Investment Co, and other firms. He serves on the board of the nonprofit relief group Operation USA, and is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy. Ambassador Shearer has served as a political advisor to the US military and was a moderator of the Chiefs of Defense Conference for the US Pacific Command in Honolulu in 2005 and for the US Central Command in Tampa FL in 2008. He resides in Pacific Palisades, CA with his wife, financial consultant Sue Toigo and four dogs and two cats. His political and economic commentary appears regularly online in The Huffington Post.s