Shanel James is from Fort Meade, Maryland, born to a now retired Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force. She is a graduate of Howard University with a business degree, concentrating in marketing. Her interest in marketing began in high school when she joined the Distributive Education Club of America, a club that prepares leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, hospitality, and management, through competitive events and workshops. Her major provided her the opportunity to intern within both the public and private sector for organizations such as McGraw-Hill and The National Security Agency, which prepared her for her current role as a Customer Relationship Manager with IBM, for the Department of Defense.

Growing up, Shanel found a love for the arts. From the age of three, Shanel started acting, performing in musicals such as Once on this Island and The Wiz. Additionally, Shanel loves to draw and often spends her free time practicing her sketching or attending social painting events.

Shanel is very active in her community through her sorority, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. As a member, she has been able to incorporate her love for children, serving as scholarship committee chair, working with the youth group, and raising money for premature babies with the March of Dimes. Additionally, Shanel was able to create an ongoing partnership with her sorority chapter and Happy Helpers for the Homeless, an organizations that she has volunteered with since high school that provides basic necessities to the homeless in Baltimore. In her reign, Shanel hopes to create similar initiatives in other cities across the country.

Harrison Productions, LLC is an event production based company based in Burton, Michigan who has been producing pageants since 2003.

Miss U.S. International is the official USA preliminary to Miss International. Women between the ages of 18-26 are eligible to compete. To find out more information about the national pageant, please visit the website at www.MissUSInternational.com or on social media @MissUSInternational.

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