1974 - 2020
{ "" }
Share TIFFANY's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share

Tiffany Shackelford (Age 46)  
A leader of communications, policy, and journalism organizations, died December 27, 2020, after contracting COVID-19. The Alexandria, VA, resident leaves her husband of 14 years, Aaron Castelo; son Sam, 9; and a wide network of friends and relatives. At the time of her death, Tiffany was executive director of the Society for News Design, a nonprofit organization for media leaders and visual journalists. She was also associated with the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, having served as executive director of its Voter Communications Task Force and as head of outreach for its 50-state election cybersecurity project before the recent election. From 2016 to 2019 she was the chief strategy officer and communications director for the National Governors Association. Previous career highlights included leading the Association of Alternative Newsmedia and the publishing practice for Phase2 Technology, and serving as assistant managing editor of Stateline, a news site funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts that pioneered online-only content delivery in 1999. In the latter role, she helped found and served as executive director of Capitolbeat, an association of statehouse reporters and editors. She also started and ran the Online News Association's first local group in Washington, DC. Tiffany was born in Jacksonville, Fla., on July 31, 1974, part of a Navy family that had several duty stations before settling in Fairfax County, Va., in the early 1980s. She graduated from West Potomac High School in 1992 and East Carolina University in 1996. Tiffany's magnetic energy and warmth attracted a huge network of lifelong friends, whom she charmed with her razor-sharp wit, spot-on observations and storytelling. She had a unique gift for helping people make connections in her private and professional life, and a rare combination of both vision and attention to the finest detail. She delighted in passing on to Sam her trademark sense of humor and sarcasm. She was preceded in death by her parents, Brenda Logan Shackelford and Harry Shackelford, Jr.  A Celebration of Life will be held online at 7 p.m. Friday, January 15, 2021; register in advance at Online condolences also may be sent by visiting

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Washington Post on Jan. 10, 2021.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
4 entries
January 17, 2021
Tiffany hired me as a contract worker at the Pew Center on the States when I moved to Washington out of grad school in 1999. I appreciated her honesty, irreverance, sarcasm and wit, and she quickly became my first friend in a still unfamiliar city. Tiffany taught me a ton about media, policy, Washington and people. Her guidance and friendship during my formative years in DC made me wiser and richer. For the last two decades, as we advanced professionally and personally, we reconnected whenever we could; sometimes after a month or two, sometimes after a year or two. I always looked forward to her take on situations and questions and to hearing about work, family and friends. I'm heartbroken Tiffany left us so soon. She was one of kind, and I'll miss her dearly. My deepest condolences to her family and friends.
Paul Skowronek
January 11, 2021
Group of 10 Memorial Trees
Plant Memorial Trees
Sympathy Gift courtesy of
Tom and Ruth Felger
January 10, 2021
Tiffany Shackelford was one of the most amazing persons I've ever known. As a founding editor of Stateline, a news website that covers politics and policy-making at the state level, I hired her to be an office assistant. Within a few years, she was an assistant managing editor. Tiffany coupled a blazing intellect with a magnetic personality -- an winning combination that explains her meteoric career in the media. Tiffany packed a lot of living into a life that was much too short. My deepest condolences to Aaron, young Sam and other members of her family. She left an impressive legacy. She will be missed.
Gene Gibbons
January 10, 2021
To the family,

I wanted to extend my condolences for your loss. Please know that God is a true source of comfort and strength and he will heal the broken hearted. (Ps. 147:3) Cherish the wonderful memories!
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences