Updated: March 5, 2021
U.S. President-elect Joseph R. Biden on Monday nominated Linda Thomas-Greenfield to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations when he takes office on January 20, 2021.
Retired Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a career diplomat, is returning to public service after retiring from a 35-year career with the U.S. Foreign Service in 2017. From 2013 to 2017 she served as the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs, where she led the bureau focused on the development and management of U.S. policy toward sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to this appointment, she served as Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources (2012-2013), leading a team in charge of the State Department’s 70,000-strong workforce.
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Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield’s distinguished Foreign Service career includes an ambassadorship to Liberia (2008-2012), and postings in Switzerland (at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations), Pakistan, Kenya, The Gambia, Nigeria, and Jamaica. In Washington, she served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of African Affairs (2006-2008), and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (2004-2006).
Since 2017, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield has led the Africa Practice at Albright Stonebridge Group, a strategic commercial diplomacy firm chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. She was also the inaugural Distinguished Resident Fellow in African Studies at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy from fall 2017 to spring 2019. She joined ISD in spring 2017 as a Senior State Department Fellow. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield earned a B.A. from Louisiana State University and a M.A. from the University of Wisconsin, where she worked towards a PhD. She received an honorary Doctor of Law degree from the University of Wisconsin in May 2018.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield has been praised for her extended experience and professionalism who will be a huge asset to the Joe Biden administration.
Congressmember Karen Bass (D-CA), Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, on Monday, congratulated longtime friend and colleague Linda Thomas-Greenfield on her UN Ambassador nomination by President-elect Joe Biden.
Thomas-Greenfield, who served as the top U.S. diplomat overseeing African affairs in the Obama administration, will become the United States ambassador to the United Nations in the incoming administration.
Bass wrote: “To know Linda is to know an incredibly smart, caring, and insightful diplomat dedicated to bettering this country and the relationships our country has with others throughout the world.
“Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield’s experience on the international stage commands deserved respect from all corners of the world. She brings 35 years of foreign service experience to the role including overseeing the Bureau of African Affairs during the Obama administration and serving as Director General of the Foreign Service, in which she led a team in charge of the State Department’s 70,000-strong workforce.
“In these roles, I came to work closely with Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield. We traveled to the continent together many times and I’ve always admired her leadership. She has spoken at events I’ve hosted here in Washington, DC regarding opportunities and growth on the African continent and has always offered herself as an invaluable resource for our legislating efforts here in the House of Representatives.
“What adds to her record is her work and reputation beyond our borders. She’s served this country all over the world including in Switzerland, Pakistan, Kenya, The Gambia, Nigeria, Jamaica and most recently, Liberia.
“Linda Thomas-Greenfield is more than qualified for this role. Her grace and her wit will serve this country well. We are safer with her in this position. I wish her the very best of luck.”
What others are saying about her:
Sen. Jeff Merkley, Senate Foreign Relations Committee : Today’s announcement is welcome news after four years that have weakened our diplomatic standing around the world and battered morale at the State Department. Tony Blinken and Linda Thomas-Greenfield are both seasoned diplomats and career public servants who will bring the deep experience, character, and respect for our country’s diplomatic forces necessary to put our international relationships back on track. Press Release, 11/23/20
Sen. Bill Cassidy: Reports say Louisiana native and LSU graduate Linda Thomas-Greenfield would serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under Joe Biden. Should this come to be, I want to congratulate one of our own for representing our country in front of the rest of the world. [Tweet, 11/23/20]
Rep. Joaquin Castro, House Foreign Affairs Committee: .@LindaT_G will be an outstanding @UN Ambassador — we share a commitment to a revitalized @StateDept. A career diplomat deeply admired for her experience & wisdom, her nomination by President-Elect @JoeBiden is a powerfully important message to the world. usatoday.com/story/news/pol… [Tweet, 11/23/20]
Nicholas Burns, Former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs: If reports are true, and I hope they are, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield will represent the U.S. with real distinction at the UN. She is universally admired and respected in the Foreign Service and will help to revive American diplomacy. @LindaT_G [Tweet, 11/23/20]
Alexis McGill, President of Planned Parenthood: “With the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, America chose leaders deeply committed to advancing and expanding reproductive rights — a choice with effects far beyond our borders.”[Press Release, 11/23/20]