Content Block Preview: Speaker Bios: HBCUs AtSat Q&A w/ Alumni

Speaker Bios:


Danielle Hawkins (moderator), Campaign Manager, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Hampton University ’16 

Danielle Hawkins serves as a Campaign Manager in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), Office of Public Affairs and Strategic Communications. Danielle plays a leading role in the development, coordination, and implementation of comprehensive, effective, accurate, and timely strategic digital media communications plans and campaigns to support ECA’s programs. Examples of campaigns that Danielle has worked on include International Education Week, Access for All, the Women of Courage campaign and the New Language Challenge Initiative. She also plays a major role in the conduct of comprehensive assessments of ECA public communication campaigns, programs, and products to ensure alignment with ECA and departmental goals and objectives and maximize reach and effectiveness. Danielle is a leader in the development of plans for campaigns to disseminate information about ECA’s core international exchange programs and activities and how they intertwine with and advance U.S. foreign policy, and advises top managers on the possible public and media reactions to proposed policy statements or plans of action. Prior to working in ECA, Danielle served as a Digital Strategist in the Bureau of Global Public Affairs Office of Digital and Social Media. She’s a proud alumna of her "Home By the Sea," Hampton University, and has a heart that is postured to serve in public diplomacy.


Afua Riverson, Digital Media Adviser, Bureau of African Affairs, Virginia State University ’12 

Afua Riverson is the Digital Media Adviser for the Bureau of African Affairs at the Department of State. Within this position, she provides virtual and in-person expert training in digital media, regional policies and trends, and Department social media guidelines. These trainings equip Embassy staff abroad with the latest digital skills needed to advance post and Department objectives on and offline. Prior to this role, Afua served both as a Staff Assistant in the Bureau of International Information Programs and in the Office of the Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary, where she led social and digital media efforts for the Adviser and an initiative called the NeXXt Scholars Program, which created opportunities for young women from Muslim-majority countries to come to the United States to study science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) at U.S. women’s colleges. Afua began her tenure at the Department as an intern at the U.S. Embassy in Mauritania and the Office of Global Change. Afua is the daughter of Ghanaian immigrants and proudly celebrates her heritage. She obtained her bachelor's degree in Political Science from Virginia State University and her master’s degree in Public Policy from George Mason University. 


Tau Shanklin-Roberts, Public Diplomacy Officer, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, Morehouse College ’09 

Tau Shanklin-Roberts is the Pakistan Public Diplomacy Officer in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA). Previous to SCA, he served on the East Africa CVE team in the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations. Tau also served domestically in the Bureau of International Information Programs, implementing a Departmentwide Customer Relationship Management software initiative. His overseas assignments include postings as the Public Diplomacy Officer at the U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong and Macau and a Consular Officer at U.S. Embassy Mexico City. Tau received his M.P.A. from the Princeton University School of Public and International Affairs and his B.A. in Economics from Morehouse College. He is a native Washingtonian.


Mignon Houston, Deputy Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Consulate General Cape Town, Winston-Salem State University ’04 

Mignon Houston became a U.S. Diplomat in 2006 as a Thomas R. Pickering Fellow. She has served overseas in the U.S. Consulate General Cape Town, South Africa; the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines; the U.S. Embassy in Yaoundé, Cameroon; and the U.S. Consulate General Guadalajara, Mexico. She also served two domestic assignments in Washington, D.C., as the Press Officer and Speechwriter for the Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan and as the Public Diplomacy Desk Officer for the Western Hemisphere covering 21 Caribbean countries. Based on her French and Spanish language abilities, she was selected to lead the Press Team for the African Growth and Opportunity Act 2015 Summit in Libreville, Gabon, and in 2013 was assigned to Madrid to serve as the Acting American Services Chief on a temporary duty assignment. She received her undergraduate degree at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina as a double major in Spanish and Mass Communications and her master’s degree from the University of Delaware in Urban Affairs and Public Policy. She grew up in Burlington, North Carolina, and is married to Dr. John Allen Houston, of San Diego, California. They are expecting a son in June.


Clifton Jeffery, Supervisory Special Agent, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Tougaloo College ’02 

Supervisory Special Agent Clifton Jeffery is the Resident Agent-in-Charge of the Diplomatic Security (DS) New Orleans Resident Office. He has also served as Regional Security Officer in northern Syria, DS liaison to Joint Special Operations Command, Unit Supervisor in the DS Boston Field Office; Regional Security Officer for the U.S. Embassy in Eritrea; Assistant Regional Security Officer (ARSO) at the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center in Iraq; ARSO for the U.S. Embassy in Botswana; ARSO for the U.S. Consulate General Peshawar, Pakistan, and in the DS Houston Field Office. Clifton is the recipient of several Department of State awards, including a 2010 Heroism Award and 2019 DS Special Agent of the Year. He has a bachelor’s degree from Tougaloo College and a Juris Doctorate from Mississippi College School of Law.