Board of Directors

Richard Kraemer, President

Richard Kraemer managed the National Endowment for Democracy’s program portfolio on Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey. Prior to joining NED, he managed programs in those states and the Levant at the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE). Kraemer also taught law and researched at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. He is an Eurasia Program Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and an affiliated expert of the Public International Law and Policy Groups where he advised the governments of Georgia and Montenegro. A member of the New York State Bar Association, Kraemer holds a JD from American University and a BA from the College of William and Mary. He’s appeared in numerous international and U.S. media. He is professionally proficient in Dari, Farsi, and Polish.

Ambassador Thomas A. Shannon, Jr.

Ambassador Thomas Shannon is a Senior International Policy Advisor at Arnold & Porter and most recently served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, the third highest ranking position at the State Department. Holding the personal rank of Career Ambassador, he was the highest ranking member of the United States Foreign Service, the country's professional diplomatic corps. During his tenure as Under Secretary, Ambassador Shannon was in charge of bilateral and multilateral foreign policymaking and implementation, and oversaw diplomatic activity globally and in our missions to international organizations.

Prior to that appointment, he served as Counselor of the Department, where he acted as a troubleshooter and roving envoy for Secretary of State John Kerry. In that capacity, he focused on Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and led US support for the UN-sponsored peace processes in Yemen and South Sudan. Prior to his 2016 appointment by President Obama as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Ambassador Shannon was the United States Ambassador to Brazil. Prior to this appointment, Ambassador Shannon served as Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs from 2005-2009. He served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council (2003-2005), Deputy Assistant Secretary of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the Department of State (2002-2003), and Director of Andean Affairs (2001-2002). From 2000-2001, he was US Deputy Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States, with the rank of Ambassador. During his career, Ambassador Shannon served in the US Foreign Service at embassies in Guatemala, Brazil, South Africa, and Venezuela.

Bunmi Akinnusoto

Bunmi Akinnusotu is a foreign policy enthusiast and organizational management leader. As the Deputy Director of the Rangel Fellowship at Howard University, Bunmi builds the talent pipeline of foreign service officers and international affairs leaders. Prior to Howard, Bunmi was the Chief of Staff at Young Professionals in Foreign Policy which also amplifies the voices of rising global policymakers. She was a political appointee in the Obama Administration where she served as a Special Assistant in the Office of Land and Emergency Management at the US Environmental Protection Agency. There, she coordinated international and domestic efforts to advance resource conservation and bring greater visibility to the social and economic benefits of reducing negative environmental impacts. Bunmi’s international journey began at Search for Common Ground in Timor-Leste and she later taught English in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. Prior to her career in foreign affairs, Bunmi was a non-profit fundraiser for the YWCA and United Way in Chicago. She’s also an Americorps Alumn, a Truman National Security Fellow, and a Penn Kemble Democracy Fellow.

Bunmi obtained her Master’s degree in Public Administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and also a Master’s in Sociology from Illinois State University Stevenson Center for Applied Community and Economic Development. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems from Bryant University located in her home state of Rhode Island.  Bunmi is a recovering collegiate volleyball player, loves anything made of red velvet, anything from Chicago, and enjoys producing her radio program and podcast, What in the World?. She is relentless in her pursuit to help more Americans understand the connection of foreign policy to their everyday lives.

Andrew Wilson, Secretary

Andrew Wilson is the Executive Director of the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) in Washington, D.C. Wilson has extensive experience working with the private sector on development issues in conflict and post-conflict settings, crafting successful business strategies to reduce corruption, encouraging entrepreneurship development, strengthening business advocacy, improving corporate governance standards, and promoting economic reform. Wilson has worked at CIPE since 1996 in a variety of roles, including Deputy Director for Strategic Planning and Programs, and Regional Director for Europe, Eurasia, and South Asia. Prior to his time at CIPE, Wilson worked for several development NGOs focusing on economic reform, private sector growth, and public diplomacy. Over the years, Wilson has served on numerous international working groups dedicated to political and economic development in transitional societies. Wilson received his MA in East European Area Studies from the University of London (SSEES) and a BA in History from Lewis and Clark College.

Scott Cullinane, Executive Director

Scott Cullinane is an expert in US-European relations with extensive experience working with the business sector, Congress, and advocacy organizations. From 2011-2018 Scott served in various positions with the US Congress, including as the Professional Staff Member for the House Foreign Affairs Europe Subcommittee where he covered a broad jurisdiction, including the European Union, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, and Central Asia. Cullinane’s work has focused on issues of democratic transition, rule of law, and national security. He has also worked as an election observer with the OSCE. Cullinane is a graduate of the Institute of World Politics in Washington and has completed course work at John Cabot University in Italy and Central European University in Hungary. He is currently based in Washington, DC.