Shapiro was born on August 1, 1969, in Champaign, Illinois, and graduated in 1986 from the University Laboratory High School of Urbana. He obtained a bachelor's degree from Brandeis University in 1991 and a master's degree in Middle Eastern politics from Harvard University in 1993.
From 1993 to 1995, he served as a staff member on the United States House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East, under Chairman Lee Hamilton (D-Indiana). From 1995 to 1999, he served as a legislative assistant and senior foreign policy advisor to Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California). He previously worked for the State Department at the U.S. Embassy in the United Arab Emirates and served as an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.
From 1999 to 2001, he worked at the National Security Council, during the administration of Bill Clinton, as director of legislative affairs and as a Congressional liaison for National Security Advisor Sandy Berger. From 2001 to 2007, he worked first as a legislative advisor and then as deputy chief of staff (primarily on foreign policy issues) for U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-Florida).
In 2007, Shapiro was named vice president of the Washington D.C. lobbying and consulting firm Timmons & Company.
Shapiro played a large role in Barack Obama’s campaign for the presidency beginning in 2007 as an advisor on Middle East and Jewish community issues while also assisting as a strategist and fundraiser. In July 2008, Shapiro accompanied Obama on his trip to Israel, and on August 19, 2008, he was named Senior Policy Advisor and Jewish Outreach Coordinator. He was later selected to head the Middle East desk at the National Security Council in the Obama Administration. In June 2011, he was appointed Ambassador to Israel. He served until 2017.
After concluding his service as ambassador to Israel, Shapiro became a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University and a principal at WestExec Advisors. He also was a distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Middle East Programs and director of the N7 Initiative, which seeks to broaden and deepen normalization between Israel and Arab and Muslim countries.
In 2021, Shapiro joined the State Department team working on issues related to Iran in the Biden administration. In June 2023, he was appointed to the newly created position of senior advisor for regional integration. Secretary of State Tony Blinken said Shapiro “will support U.S. efforts to advance a more peaceful and interconnected region, deepen and broaden the Abraham Accords and build the Negev Forum.”
Shapiro is married to Julie Fisher. The couple has three daughters.
Sources: Embassy of the United States - Tel Aviv.
Timmons & Company, Inc.
Barak Ravid, “Scoop: Former Israel ambassador joins U.S. Iran team,” Axios, (August 29, 2021).
Gabby Deutch, “Dan Shapiro rejoins Biden admin to focus on boosting the Abraham Accords,” JewishInsider, (June 29, 2023).
Photo: Public domain.