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Linda Thomas-Greenfield
Official portrait, 2021
31st United States Ambassador to the United Nations
Assumed office
February 25, 2021
President Joe Biden
Deputy Richard M. Mills Jr.
Jeffrey Prescott
Preceded by Kelly Craft
18th United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
In office
August 6, 2013 – March 10, 2017
President Barack Obama
Donald Trump
Deputy Robert P. Jackson
Preceded by Johnnie Carson
Succeeded by Tibor P. Nagy
Director General of the Foreign Service
and Director of Human Resources
In office
April 2, 2012 – August 2, 2013
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Nancy Jo Powell
Succeeded by Arnold A. Chacón
United States Ambassador to Liberia
In office
July 18, 2008 – February 29, 2012
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by Donald E. Booth
Succeeded by Deborah R. Malac
Personal details
Born 1952 (age 70–71)
Baker, Louisiana, U.S.
Spouse(s) Lafayette Greenfield
Children 2
Education Louisiana State University (BA)
University of Wisconsin–Madison (MPA, Honorary Doctor of Law)

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.

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 education

Thomas-Greenfield was born in 1952 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. During UW-Madison's spring 2018 commencement ceremony, Thomas-Greenfield was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law by Chancellor Rebecca Blank.


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, The Gambia, Nigeria, and Jamaica.

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.

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.

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.

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. As of November 2020, Thomas-Greenfield was on leave from a senior vice president position at Albright Stonebridge Group.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations

V20210224LJ-0130 (51013313857)
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. She appeared before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on January 27, 2021. 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. 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. Thomas-Greenfield has vowed to stand "against the unfair targeting of Israel" for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, saying that the movement "verges on antisemitism".

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. She took office after presenting her credentials on February 25, 2021. She succeeded Ambassador Kelly Craft.


P20210318AS-1641 (51130058919)
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. 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."

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.

See also

Women's History Month on Kiddle
Women Scientists of Antiquity
Mary the Jewess
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