Mr. Philip A. Shull

Senior Advisor for Food, Agribusiness, and Regulatory Affairs


Mr. Philip A. Shull has over 30 years of experience as a senior agricultural diplomat and executive with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). In pursuing the mission of expanding food and agricultural exports and promoting global food security, Mr. Shull has led negotiations, directed strategic and market development planning, conducted economic and marketing analysis, and overseen multi-million dollar marketing, technical exchange, and food aid budgets. He has been a persuasive and effective advocate of U.S. and international positions on food and agricultural issues to audiences ranging from cabinet ministers to small farmers, and represented the U.S. at international agriculture forums on food safety, sanitary and phyto-sanitary issues, and biotechnology.

Mr. Shull retired from USDA in 2016 from his position as Minister Counselor for Agriculture at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, USDA’s largest and most important overseas post. During his 30+ years with USDA he also directed offices in Manila, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Seoul, Guangzhou, and twice in Beijing. In his Washington postings, Mr. Shull served in various capacities involving economic analysis, trade policy, and export expansion, including as director of international marketing.

In providing direct assistance to the private sector, Mr. Shull has worked closely with top executives of large and small companies, farmers, and trade associations to help achieve their export objectives. He has engaged frequently with media and the public in English, Mandarin, and Spanish, and designed and executed cost-recovery marketing and promotion projects. He has also worked with multiple U.S. and host government agencies and NGO’s on capacity building projects ranging from increasing food and agricultural production to improving regulatory systems, and value chain development.

Mr. Shull has built diverse coalitions and teams to overcome problems. Recognizing that most problems require expertise from several disciplines to solve, Mr. Shull is especially skilled at assembling diplomats from multiple embassies, executives from various industries, appropriate technical experts, and leading representatives of academe and consumer affairs organizations to address trade barriers and educate the public on controversial issues. He is adept at both the “big” and “small” picture, ensuring individual project components work and adapt to serve the overall goal.

He completed his undergraduate studies at Miami University (Ohio), and received his Master’s Degree from Stanford University’s Food Research Institute. Prior to joining USDA, he taught in China at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, and with the YMCA in Taipei.

Practice group focus area(s)

Publications and Media

TSG Senior Advisor for Food, Agribusiness and Regulatory Affairs, Philip Shull, assesses discusses challenges to commercial diplomacy in today’s China in the context of that nation’s history and culture.
Published: August 2019

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