Linda Thomas-Greenfield

Linda Thomas-Greenfield (born 1952) is an American diplomat who is the United States ambassador to the United Nations under President Joe Biden. She served as the U.S. assistant secretary of state for African affairs from 2013 to 2017. Thomas-Greenfield then worked in the private sector as a senior vice president at Albright Stonebridge Group in Washington, D.C.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield
Linda-Thomas-Greenfield-v1-8x10-1.jpg
Official portrait, 2021
31st United States Ambassador to the United Nations
Assumed office
February 25, 2021
PresidentJoe Biden
DeputyRichard M. Mills Jr.
Jeffrey Prescott
Preceded byKelly Craft
18th United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
In office
August 6, 2013 – March 10, 2017
PresidentBarack Obama
Donald Trump
DeputyRobert P. Jackson[1]
Preceded byJohnnie Carson
Succeeded byTibor P. Nagy
Director General of the Foreign Service
and Director of Human Resources
In office
April 2, 2012 – August 2, 2013
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byNancy Jo Powell
Succeeded byArnold A. Chacón
United States Ambassador to Liberia
In office
July 18, 2008 – February 29, 2012
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded byDonald E. Booth
Succeeded byDeborah R. Malac
Personal details
Born1952 (age 69–70)
Baker, Louisiana, U.S.
SpouseLafayette Greenfield[2]
Children2
EducationLouisiana State University (BA)
University of Wisconsin–Madison (MPA, Honorary Doctor of Law)

President Biden nominated her to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and she was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 23, 2021. She took office after presenting her credentials on February 25, 2021.

Early life and educationEdit

Thomas-Greenfield was born in 1952 in Baker, Louisiana.[3] She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Louisiana State University in 1974, and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1975.[4][5] During UW-Madison's spring 2018 commencement ceremony, Thomas-Greenfield was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law by Chancellor Rebecca Blank.[6]

CareerEdit

Thomas-Greenfield taught political science at Bucknell University, before joining the Foreign Service in 1982.[7]

She served as Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (2004–2006), Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs (2006–2008), Ambassador to Liberia (2008–2012), and Director General of the Foreign Service and concurrently as the Director of Human Resources (2012–2013).[8][9] In addition, Thomas-Greenfield held foreign postings in Switzerland (at the United States Mission to the United Nations), Pakistan, Kenya, The Gambia, Nigeria, and Jamaica.[10]

From 2013 to 2017, she served as the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in the United States Department of State's Bureau of African Affairs.[11][12]

In 2017 she was terminated by the Trump administration as part of what was a "purge of senior State Department officials and career professionals over nearly four years", according to the Los Angeles Times.[13]

Thomas-Greenfield is a non-resident fellow at Georgetown University, having been the distinguished resident fellow in African Studies from fall 2017 to spring 2019.[14]

In November 2020, Thomas-Greenfield was named a volunteer member of President-elect Joe Biden's agency review team to support transition efforts related to the United States Department of State.[15][13] As of November 2020, Thomas-Greenfield was on leave from a senior vice president position at Albright Stonebridge Group.[16]

U.S. Ambassador to the United NationsEdit

 
Thomas-Greenfield being sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris on February 24, 2021

On November 24, 2020, Biden announced his plans to nominate her as the next U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and to include her in his cabinet and National Security Council.[17][18] She appeared before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on January 27, 2021.[19] During the confirmation hearing on her nomination for U.N. ambassador, Thomas-Greenfield said she regretted giving a speech to a Beijing-backed Confucius Institute in 2019 when she was working for a private consulting firm. She largely agreed with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on international policies, raising concerns about the People's Republic of China's "malign force" and "debt traps and tactics" in Africa and beyond.[20][21] In February 2021, it was reported that Senator Ted Cruz of Texas was delaying a committee vote on her nomination due to her 2019 comments on the People's Republic of China.[22] Thomas-Greenfield has vowed to stand "against the unfair targeting of Israel" for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, saying that the movement "verges on antisemitism".[23]

The committee favorably reported her nominations on February 4, 2021. Thomas-Greenfield was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 23, 2021, by a 78–20 vote to be the UN Ambassador; she was subsequently confirmed, by a vote of 78-21, to be the US representative to the General Assembly of the UN.[24][25][26] She took office after presenting her credentials on February 25, 2021.[27] She succeeded Ambassador Kelly Craft.[28]

TenureEdit

 
Thomas-Greenfield with President Joe Biden, March 2021

Beginning on March 1, 2021, the United States became president of the United Nations Security Council; thus Greenfield became president of the council as head of the United States delegation. Her term ended on March 31, 2021.[29] Her next term as President of the UNSC began on May 1, 2022, succeeding her UK counterpart, Barbara Woodward, who served as UNSC President for April 2022, in the middle of the continuing war in Ukraine by Russia, and ended on May 31, 2022, being succeeded by the Albanian ambassador, Ferit Hoxha, for June 2022.

Thomas-Greenfield accused the People's Republic of China of committing genocide against Uyghurs and of detaining more than one million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang internment camps. She said that the United States "will keep standing up and speaking out until China's government stops its crimes against humanity and the genocide of Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang."[30]

She expressed concern over reports of escalating ethnic tensions in Ethiopia's Tigray Region and urged peaceful resolution of the Tigray War between Ethiopia's federal government and the forces of the Tigray regional government.[31]

PublicationsEdit

  • Thomas-Greenfield, Linda (July 1, 2001). "U.S. Refugee Admissions History and Policy". Refugee Survey Quarterly. 20 (2): 165–169. doi:10.1093/rsq/20.2.165. ISSN 1020-4067.
  • Thomas-Greenfield, Linda; Wharton, D. Bruce (2019). "Zimbabwe's Coup: Net Gain or No Gain?". Military Review.
  • Thomas-Greenfield, Linda; Burns, William J. (2020). "The Transformation of Diplomacy: How to Save the State Department". Foreign Affairs. 99 (6).

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Biographies: Principals". U.S. Department of State. Archived from the original on January 22, 2017. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
  2. ^ "Veteran diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield returns as Biden's pick for UN envoy". ABC News.
  3. ^ "Linda Thomas-Greenfield - People - Department History - Office of the Historian". history.state.gov.
  4. ^ "Honorary Doctorate Recognizes Career in International Diplomacy". International Division. University of Wisconsin–Madison. May 12, 2018. Archived from the original on November 23, 2020. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
  5. ^ "Linda Thomas-Greenfield". Foreign Policy for America. Archived from the original on November 23, 2020. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
  6. ^ "Honorary doctorate recognizes career in international diplomacy". International Division. May 12, 2018. Retrieved May 25, 2022.
  7. ^ "Linda Thomas-Greenfield". About Us. Albright Stonebridge Group. Archived from the original on November 10, 2020. Retrieved November 24, 2020. Prior to joining the U.S. Department of State, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield taught political science at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania.
  8. ^ "Appointments and Resignations – Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs: Who Is Linda Thomas-Greenfield?". AllGov. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  9. ^ "Thomas-Greenfield, Linda (1952– )". The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  10. ^   This article incorporates public domain material from Linda Thomas-Greenfield. United States Department of State.
  11. ^ "Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs". Department of State. Archived from the original on January 21, 2017. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  12. ^ Morello, Carol (March 2, 2017). "That drip-drip is the sound of two more senior diplomats leaving Foggy Bottom". Washington Post. Archived from the original on March 6, 2017. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  13. ^ a b "Biden looks to rehire diplomats and others fired by Trump to rebuild the State Department". The Los Angeles Times. November 20, 2020. Archived from the original on November 19, 2020. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  14. ^ "Ambassador (ret.) Linda Thomas-Greenfield". School of Foreign Service. Georgetown University. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  15. ^ "Agency Review Teams". President-Elect Joe Biden. Archived from the original on November 10, 2020. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  16. ^ "Linda Thomas-Greenfield". Albright Stonebridge Group. Archived from the original on November 10, 2020. Retrieved November 27, 2020.
  17. ^ Michael Crowley and Jeanna Smialek (November 23, 2020). "Biden Will Nominate First Women to Lead Treasury and Intelligence, and First Latino to Run Homeland Security". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 23, 2020. Retrieved November 24, 2020. Biden will also nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be ambassador to the United Nations and restore the job to cabinet-level status, giving Ms. Thomas-Greenfield, who is African-American, a seat on his National Security Council.
  18. ^ Zilbermints, Regina (November 23, 2020). "Biden picks Linda Thomas-Greenfield for US envoy to UN". TheHill. Archived from the original on November 23, 2020. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
  19. ^ "What Linda Thomas-Greenfield's hearing says about US leadership at UN". Devex.com. January 28, 2021. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  20. ^ Mauldin, William (January 28, 2021). "Biden Pick for U.N. Envoy Expresses Regret for China Speech". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 2, 2021.
  21. ^ Feng, John (January 28, 2021). "Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Biden's U.N. pick, says she regrets positive China speech in Senate grilling". Newsweek. Retrieved February 2, 2021.
  22. ^ Bade, Gavin (February 2, 2021). "Cruz delays vote on U.N. nominee Thomas-Greenfield as impeachment trial looms". POLITICO. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  23. ^ Samuels, Ben (January 27, 2021). "BDS verges on Antisemitism, Biden's pick for US Envoy says". Haaretz.
  24. ^ "On the Nomination (Confirmation: Linda Thomas-Greenfield, of Louisiana, to be the Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations and the Representative of the United States of America in the Security Council of the United Nations)". US Senate. Retrieved July 25, 2022.
  25. ^ "On the Nomination (Confirmation: Linda Thomas-Greenfield, of Louisiana, to be Representative of the United States of America to the Sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations)". US Senate. Retrieved July 25, 2022.
  26. ^ Heath, Ryan (February 23, 2021). "'It Can Only Get Better': Linda Thomas-Greenfield Headed to Crisis-Plagued U.N." Politico. Retrieved February 23, 2021. [She] will arrive in New York February 25 to present her credentials to U.N. Secretary General António Guterres.
  27. ^ "New US envoy starts challenge to restore US on world stage". AP NEWS. February 25, 2021. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  28. ^ "Senate Approves Linda Thomas-Greenfield As New U.N. Ambassador". BET.com.
  29. ^ Nichols, Michelle (March 1, 2021). "U.S. to push for 'intense' U.N. Security Council talks on Myanmar". Reuters. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  30. ^ "U.S., UK, Germany clash with China at U.N. over Xinjiang". Reuters. May 12, 2021.
  31. ^ "US, EU demand action to end 'nightmare' in Ethiopia's Tigray". France 24. June 10, 2021.

External linksEdit

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by United States Ambassador to Liberia
2008–2012
Succeeded by
Preceded by United States Ambassador to the United Nations
2021–present
Incumbent
Government offices
Preceded by Director General of the Foreign Service
2012–2013
Succeeded by
Preceded by Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
2013–2017
Succeeded by
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Trade Representative Order of precedence of the United States
as Ambassador to the United Nations
Succeeded byas Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors