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*Linda Thomas-Greenfield was born on this date in 1952. She is a Black educator, administrator, and diplomat.
Thomas-Greenfield was born in Baker, Louisiana. 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. Thomas-Greenfield taught political science at Bucknell University before joining the Foreign Service in 1982.
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). In addition, Thomas-Greenfield held foreign postings in Switzerland (at the United States Mission to the United Nations), Pakistan, Kenya, Gambia, Nigeria, and Jamaica. 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. In 2017 she was terminated by the Trump administration as part of a purge of senior State Department officials and career professionals over nearly four years. She is a non-resident fellow at Georgetown University and was a distinguished resident fellow in African Studies from fall 2017 to spring 2019. 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.
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. She appeared before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on January 27, 2021, and took office after presenting her credentials on February 25, 2021. She succeeded Ambassador Kelly Craft. Thomas-Greenfield accused the People's Republic of China of committing genocide against Uyghurs and 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." She expressed concern over reports of escalating ethnic tensions in Ethiopia's Tigray Region. She urged a peaceful resolution of the Tigray War between Ethiopia's federal government and the forces of the Tigray regional government. Thomas-Greenfield has raised similar concerns over the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.