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Michael Shank
Michael Shank, Ph.D., is Director of Media Strategy at Climate Nexus in New York City. Previously, Michael served as Associate Director for Legislative Affairs at the Friends Committee on National Legislation in Washington DC. Michael is Adjunct Faculty and Board Member at George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Board Member at Communities Without Boundaries International, and Senior Fellow at the JustJobs Network and the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict. Between 2009-2013, Michael served for four years as US Congressman Michael Honda's Senior Policy Advisor and Communications Director. Michael's career over the past 20 years has involved UN, government and non-governmental organizations in the US, Europe, Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America, as an adviser on diplomatic, economic, energy, and environmental security and policy initiatives.

Michael writes regularly for the Washington Post, Daily Beast, The Guardian, US News and World Report, USA Today, The Washington Times, Christian Science Monitor, Politico, Roll Call, The Hill, Huffington Post, among others. Additionally, Michael is a frequent on-air analyst for CNN, FOX News, CCTV, Al Jazeera, and RT News.

Entries by Michael Shank

Detroit's Death Knell? Austerity, Structural Racism, Water Wars

(0) Comments | Posted November 18, 2014 | 4:15 PM

Coauthored by Peter J. Hammer

The post-industrial dystopia emerging on the streets of Detroit may be shocking, but it is not surprising. The crisis results from the convergent forces of fiscal austerity and structural racism in a region defined by its extreme segregation of race, wealth and opportunity.

The people...

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DC's Attorney General Race: A Serious Impact on District Youth

(0) Comments | Posted November 3, 2014 | 12:56 PM

Coauthored by Erica L. Marshall

On November 4 the voters in the District will turn out to choose our City's next mayor. On the same ballot, after casting a vote for David Catania, Muriel Bowser or Carol Schwartz, voters will be asked to choose between five candidates for Attorney General....

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Post-Election Ferguson: Bipartisan Congress to Demilitarize Police

(1) Comments | Posted October 21, 2014 | 3:13 PM


As the Ferguson fight rages on, a potentially more courageous Congress stands ready to return, post-elections, to shut down that which rightfully enraged protestors initially. Last month, Republicans and Democrats in the Senate and the House of Representatives finally took a stand against...

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Por qué #OccupyCentral ha usado la no violencia como estrategia

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2014 | 2:00 AM

Escrito junto a Jamila Raaqib

El movimiento Occupy ha regresado y esta vez resucita en Hong Kong. Pero en este caso, la ocupación no está vinculada con el Occupy Wall Street de años recientes. Se trata de una nueva iniciativa política denominada Occupy Central y que...

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Why Hong Kong's #OccupyCentral Used Nonviolent Action as Tactic

(3) Comments | Posted September 30, 2014 | 12:05 PM

Coauthored by Jamila Raqib

The Occupy Movement has returned and is resurrecting itself in Hong Kong. But in this case, the "occupying" is not associating itself with the Occupy Wall Street of recent years. Instead, a new political initiative in Hong Kong -- called Occupy Central -- is becoming an...

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Rethink America's Yemen Policy, Set New Standard for Syria, Iraq

(0) Comments | Posted September 29, 2014 | 5:37 PM


Authors Michael Shank and Casey Harrity published a policy brief this month as part of FCNL's "Shared Security" series. For the full 20-page "Security in Yemen" report, click here. Below is the executive summary excerpted from the

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Fossil Fuel Divestment Makes UN Climate Summit a Success

(2) Comments | Posted September 22, 2014 | 7:15 PM

The United Nations climate summit in New York, where I'm writing from this week, is already a success. With Rockefeller Brothers Fund announcing this week that they're divesting entirely from fossil fuels, pulling $860 million of RBF funds out of fossil fuel stocks, the mood in New York...

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Fossil Fuel Divestment Works in Slowing Global Warming

(4) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 2:35 PM

Co-authored by Julia Trezona Peek

Once the lone province of climate scientists, the chorus warning of the costs of inaction on climate change grows larger daily, from former United States Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who warned Washington this summer of the coming climate bubble, to Desmond Tutu, who...

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Gaza Memo to Congress: Talk to Hamas

(0) Comments | Posted July 31, 2014 | 4:41 PM

This week, former United States Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) reached out to me regarding a Dear Colleague letter that he wanted to circulate to his former colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Kucinich, like many of us deeply frustrated by the international community's recalcitrance when...

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Why Americans Are Ready to Pay More Money for Cleaner Energy

(0) Comments | Posted June 17, 2014 | 1:27 PM

The news last week that Americans are willing to pay more for cleaner and greener energy, by almost a 2-to-1 margin, and are more willing to support a candidate that addresses the issue of climate change is a very good sign, especially as America approaches mid-term Congressional elections...

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Yemen Urgently Needs a Lifeline: My Trip Report from Sana'a

(0) Comments | Posted May 9, 2014 | 9:34 PM

This week in Yemen - with foreign reporters getting deported and the blood of dead Yemeni soldiers staining the grounds of the presidential palace - is reaffirming for many in Washington the preconditioned negative image of the country, one predominantly characterized by al Qaeda's violence. Recent targeting of...

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Why I'm Going to Yemen

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2014 | 11:03 PM

Following on the heels of the "massive and unprecedented" U.S. drone strikes in Yemen this month, which killed scores of Yemenis, I'm headed there for a week's worth of research. Admittedly, the timing isn't great as al-Qaeda is likely keen to counter the Obama administration's latest maneuver in...

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Ukraine Diplomatic Deal: Necessary Next Steps

(0) Comments | Posted April 17, 2014 | 5:34 PM

The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) urges Congress, the Obama administration and policymakers throughout the European Union to adopt policies toward the Ukraine crisis that deescalate the conflict while providing a constructive path forward. The diplomatic deal struck this week by diplomats from the United States, Russia,...

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U.S.-E.U. Rhetoric on Russia as Destructive as a Chekhovian Duel

(5) Comments | Posted March 22, 2014 | 12:06 PM

Returning home last week from Poland and Germany, as part of a United States and European Union transatlantic policymaker conversation on the crisis in Ukraine, Crimea and Russia, as well as other salient U.S.-E.U. issues like trade, climate change and income inequality, I found myself more frightened than ever that...

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A Post-GDP World? How to Measure Real Progress in America

(7) Comments | Posted February 28, 2014 | 1:12 PM

Co-authored by Ben Beachy

Momentum is quickly building to redefine, restructure, or replace the statistical measure that has long served as the unofficial "headline indicator" of progress in the United States: Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This is good news. GDP, as we currently know...

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Saving the District's At-Risk Youth From Mayor Gray's Budget Cuts

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2014 | 12:04 PM

Coauthored by Erica L. Marshall

This April, when the District of Columbia begins its public debate over the draft budget for fiscal year 2015, there is an opportunity to give many of the District's youth a second chance on life -- literally. All the D.C. government must do to contribute...

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U.S. Soldiers in Somalia and the Pentagon's Unlearned Lessons

(4) Comments | Posted January 11, 2014 | 2:39 PM

News that the Pentagon is sending its military back into Somalia, after 20 years, shows that America is still missing the point on the Horn of Africa when it comes to preventing violence. Has the Defense Department learned that little in its many misadventures on the African continent?

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Federal Minimum Wage War Outmaneuvered By Municipalities

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2013 | 10:45 AM

As Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pushes for a national minimum wage increase this congressional session -- and as SeaTac, Washington, passes the highest minimum wage in the country at $15 an hour -- the leaders of the District of Columbia City Council have decided they...

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Academic Freedom in Turkey Under Seige

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2013 | 12:35 PM

It appears that Fethullah Gülen, a U.S.-based Islamic preacher from Turkey who promotes peace and tolerance, and the schools associated with his religious Hizmet movement can't get a break.

They were first targeted in America, via discrimination aimed at the Turkish American community centered on his educational efforts, which was...

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DC Defunds Youth Courts, Pushes Kids Into Criminal Justice System

(7) Comments | Posted October 21, 2013 | 5:05 PM

A damning report, released this week by Opportunity Nation, says that 6 million young people - or 15 percent of American youth -- are neither in school nor working.

This shocking statistic has particular importance for Washington, D.C. This coming fiscal year, which began on...

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