Neilesh Shelat

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Portrait of Neilesh Shelat
Deputy Assistant to the Administrator

Neilesh Shelat serves as the Deputy Assistant to the Administrator (DAA) of USAID’s Bureau for Conflict Prevention and Stabilization. Prior to this role, he was the DAA in the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, the U.S. government lead for international disaster response.

Within USAID, he served as the Agency’s Executive Secretary and Senior Advisor for National Security Affairs. He deployed to Erbil, Iraq as the Senior Stabilization Advisor, and to northeast Syria to advise U.S. and coalition forces on stabilization activities in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. As a Director at the National Security Council, his portfolio covered food security, security sector assistance, and stability programming in Libya, Yemen, Nigeria, and Somalia. In support of Operation Enduring Freedom, he conducted five tours to Afghanistan while embedded with U.S., Polish, Turkish, and Afghan military forces; and, he also served as the Development Advisor to Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command.

Before returning to government, Mr. Shelat worked in the technology industry focused on data access, misinformation, and media influence. He worked with non-governmental organizations on HIV/AIDS and counter-trafficking efforts of marginalized communities in Chennai, India; and he was in-country during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami where he led relief efforts in two coastal villages in Tamil Nadu. He began his career as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer on Arorae atoll in the Republic of Kiribati.

Mr. Shelat has degrees from Washington University in St. Louis and Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. He also serves as adjunct faculty at Georgetown University's Walsh School of Foreign Service, where he teaches a graduate level course on “Conflict Stabilization.”

Last updated: October 07, 2022

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