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John Shaw

John Shaw

Paul Simon Institute Director

John T. Shaw joined the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute as director in January 2018. He established the Institute’s “Better Politics, Smarter Government” agenda with its Restoring American Statesmanship, Renewing Illinois, and Understanding Our New World programs.

Shaw was born and raised in Peoria, Illinois. He received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois and his master's in History from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. He began his career as a Governors Fellow in Springfield, Illinois, worked in state government, and later participated in a training program with the European Union in Brussels before moving into journalism with a position at the Wall Street Journal Europe.

Shaw worked as a reporter in Washington, DC for more than twenty-five years, covering Congress for Market News International, a global financial wire service, and the diplomatic community for the Washington Diplomat, a monthly magazine.

Shaw is the author of five books: Rising Star, Setting Sun: Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and the Presidential Transition that Changed America (2018); JFK in the Senate: Pathway to the Presidency (2013); Richard G. Lugar, Statesman of the Senate (2012); The Ambassador: Inside the Life of a Working Diplomat (2006); and Washington Diplomacy: Profiles of People of World Influence (2002).

Shaw has been a guest on the PBS NewsHour and C-SPAN, contributed to a weekly segment on Congress for KPCC public radio in Los Angeles for many years, and was a media fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He has published articles in the Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Boston Globe, The American Interest, and other publications.

He serves on the Board of Directors of Forefront, an association representing Illinois grantmakers and nonprofits, and is a member of Hall of Fame of Historic Illinoisans Committee of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. He has taught classes at SIU on the U.S. Congress and American Statesmanship.

Shaw and his wife, Mindy, live in Carbondale, Illinois.