- Lecturer of International Affairs
- [email protected]
Areas of Expertise
National Security policy, Civilian-military relations, stabilization
Neilesh Shelat currently works at IST Research - a global tech firm specializing in information collection, communication support, and decision making tools for organizations dealing with Ebola outbreaks, insurgency activities, and human trafficking operations. Prior to this, he served as a Senior Stabilization Advisor at USAID where he coordinated the Agency's ongoing development and stabilization efforts in Iraq and Syria in close cooperation with interagency and coalition partners. Based in northeastern Syria, he managed the provision of stabilization assistance and the restoration of essential services in areas of Syria liberated from ISIS. As Acting Deputy Mission Director in Erbil, Iraq, he oversaw staff in support of the Vice President’s directive to expand direct to expand aid to victims of the Nineveh Plain and Sinjar regions. Prior to this role, he served as USAID's Executive Secretary, Senior National Security Adviser, and USAID Defeating ISIS Coordinator where he led 30 staff, and drove 24/7/365 delivery of critical and urgent administrative, logistics, and information services to two politically-appointed Administrators, an Acting Administrator, three Deputy Administrators, and two Chiefs of Staff during the 2017 Presidential transition. Neilesh served as a Director at the National Security Council (NSC) where he played a major role coordinating the implementation of food security programming, and security sector assistance, and helped oversee stability programming in Libya, Yemen, Nigeria, and Somalia, and efforts to counter violent extremism. Prior to the NSC, Neilesh served five deployments over seven years working on USAID efforts in south, west, and eastern Afghanistan with US, NATO and Afghan military forces at the district, provincial and Embassy levels. He lectured at the Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute and at several pre-deployment trainings for US and NATO militaries. Prior to his U.S Government service, he worked for a USAID contractor in their international health and Asia teams. After a stint with an NGO that delivered surplus medical equipment to developing countries, he worked in Chennai, India with marginalized HIV-positive communities. While in Chennai, and when the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami hit southeast India, he led relief efforts in two coastal villages. His career started as a rural health extension volunteer in the US Peace Corps on the central Pacific atoll of Arorae, in the Republic of Kiribati.
BA Washington University in St. Louis; MPH Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine