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Former State Department Official to Become New Berkley Center Director

May 11, 2017 – A leading expert on issues of religion, politics and international affairs will become the new director of Georgetown’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs on July 1.

Shaun Casey, a senior fellow at the center and professor of the practice at the School of Foreign Service, joined the Berkley Center this past January after three years as special representative for religion and global affairs and inaugural director of the Office of Religion and Global Affairs at the Department of State.

In that role he reported directly to then-Secretary of State John Kerry and supervised a staff of 30 experts working at the intersection of religion and American diplomacy.

Building on Success

“I am thrilled and honored to build on the remarkable success of the Berkley Center as its new director,” said Casey. “During my time at the State Department, I frequently looked to the Berkley Center for scholarship and analysis on the intersection of religion and world affairs. I look forward to working with the talented faculty and staff to expand the center’s global reach and impact on a growing array of pressing moral issues.”

Casey takes over from founding director Thomas Banchoff, a professor in the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service, and leader of the university-wide planning process that culminated in the creation of the Berkley Center in 2006.

In 2013, President John J. DeGioia appointed Banchoff as vice president for global engagement.

A Decade of Leadership

“Through the Berkley Center, our university has advanced the study of religion and world affairs and deepened interreligious understanding in the service of peace in significant ways,” said Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia. “Animated by the generosity of William R. Berkley and guided by the visionary leadership of Tom Banchoff, the Center has emerged as a global leader in this work. It is a pleasure to welcome Shaun Casey as Director of the Center, and we look forward to seeing the many ways he will strengthen and expand the work of the Center in the time ahead.”

In his role as vice president for global engagement, Banchoff will continue to support the development of the center and other university-wide global initiatives.


Before moving to the State Department, Casey served as a professor at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. Casey is the author of The Making of a Catholic President: Kennedy v. Nixon (Oxford University Press, 2009) and is also co-editor of a forthcoming new edition of The Oxford Handbook of Political Theology with Michael Kessler, a Georgetown associate professor of the practice of moral and political theory in the government department and an adjunct law professor who serves as the center’s managing director.

The new Berkley Center director is also in the process of writing a book on ethics and international politics tentatively titled Niebuhr’s Children.

Casey holds an undergraduate degree from Abilene Christian University, a master in public administration from Harvard Kennedy School, and a master of divinity and Th.D. in theology from Harvard Divinity School.