Shannon O'Connell

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Shannon Meade O'Connell is a National Democratic Institute for International Affairs specialist in campaigns, elections, and political party development. She was an observer during the elections in Occupied Palestine 2005 [1].

Earlier History

From the NDI website:

Shannon O'Connell, a specialist in campaigns, elections and political party development, is Program Director for the National Democratic Institute in Northern Ireland where she oversees NDI's political party program, working with parties such as the Social Democratic and Labour Party, Sinn Fein, the Ulster Unionist Party and the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition in preparation for the 2003 Assembly elections. Key areas of focus with the parties include research, targeting, strategic planning, voter contact, fundraising and media relations.
Ms. O'Connell arrived in Northern Ireland after working in politics and government for more than a decade. From 2001 to 2002, Ms. O'Connell served as Senior Resident Program Manager for NDI in Serbia, where she designed and implemented the Institute's political party programs. From 1999 to 2001, Ms. O'Connell held the same position in Romania, and specialized in activities designed to promote the participation of women and youth in the country's political system and public life.
Ms. O'Connell began her work in US domestic politics in 1990, when she first served as a legislative intern to the senior woman Representative in the Massachusetts General Assembly. From state politics, Ms. O'Connell worked as a legislative assistant to Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-MA) in the US House of Representatives and for Amnesty International USA's legislative program.
In addition to her work in government, Ms. O'Connell also has extensive experience in campaigns and elections, working on more than two dozen campaigns in the US, primarily on behalf of women candidates. She also served as Northern California Finance Director for the California Democratic Partyand National Events Coordinator for EMILY's List, the largest political action committee in the US.
Since 1999, Ms. O'Connell has trained with NDI's political party programs in more than a dozen countries. Ms. O'Connell holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Relations from Boston College and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. She is currently a Research Fellow at the Centre for Advancement of Women in Politics at Queen's University Belfast, working on training materials to prepare first-time women candidates for electoral campaigns.


  • 1990 Legislative intern for Massachusetts' General Assembly
  • legislative assistant to Congressman Edward J. Markey
  • 1999 to 2001: served as Senior Resident Program Manager for NDI in Romania
  • 2001 to 2002: served as Senior Resident Program Manager for NDI in Serbia
  • 2003: Program Director for elections and political party development in Northern Ireland.
  • 2004 to 2005: Resident Director. Specialist in campaigns, elections, and political party development West Bank and Gaza. Election observerViewed Jan. 14, 2005

Contact info

email: socndi AT

Lectures by O'Connell

Other SourceWatch resources