Charles ShapiroAmbassador Charles Shapiro
president (effective September 15, 2014)
World Affairs Council of Atlanta

Charles Shapiro will join the World Affairs Council of Atlanta on September 15, 2014 as its incoming president.

At the United States Department of State, Shapiro held numerous senior positions including Ambassador to Venezuela and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Western Hemisphere. Shapiro’s other foreign postings include Chile, El Salvador, Trinidad and Tobago, and Denmark, in addition to a variety of Washington assignments.

After retiring from the Foreign Service in 2011, Shapiro became the president of the Institute of the Americas, a think tank at the University of California San Diego, and will be leaving this position to take up his appointment at the council in September.

Trade and Development

Ambassador Shapiro is an experienced practitioner in international trade and investment. He helped educate and inform U.S. audiences about the potential benefits of free trade agreements with Central America, Peru, Panama, Colombia, and South Korea. Shapiro is a hands-on facilitator to help businesses in the United States, Latin America, Canada, and the Caribbean find common opportunities. He is convinced that the three nations of North America must recognize that there is one North American economy and that we must reduce impediments to our cross border supply chains.

Financial Inclusion

Ambassador Shapiro is a leading advocate for financial inclusion in the Americas. As advisor to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Shapiro led an inter-agency group working to encourage countries to reform banking laws so that developing country entrepreneurs could use moveable assets as collateral to obtain commercial loans. He has worked with governments, businesses, and development agencies to increase access to credit for marginalized groups, foster entrepreneurship and small business growth, and encourage job creation to reduce poverty and stable democracies.

Public Outreach

Fluent in English and Spanish, Ambassador Shapiro is an authoritative speaker, media commentator, and writer on North American competitiveness, trade, relations with Cuba, and developments in Venezuela.


  • M.Ed., Georgia State University
  • B.A., University of Pennsylvania
RT @shapiro_WAC: Very cool! Coca-Cola Enterprises to put innovation center at Georgia Tech via @AtlBizChron @wacatl via @WACATL 1 day ago