Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield is the inaugural Distinguished Resident Fellow in African Studies at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. She joined ISD in spring 2017 as a Senior State Department Fellow. She received the 2017 Hubert H. Humphrey Public Leadership Award from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs in recognition of her three decades of work promoting the values of humanitarianism and responsible global engagement.
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield recently retired after a 35-year career with the U.S. Foreign Service. From 2013 to 2017 she served as the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs. In this capacity, she led the bureau in the Department of State 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 of approximately 400 employees who handled the full range of personnel functions for the State Department’s 70,000-strong workforce – from recruitment and hiring, to evaluations, promotions and retirement.
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 addition to the Bureau of Human Resources, her Washington postings include the Bureau of African Affairs (2006-2008) where she served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, and the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (2004-2006) where she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary.
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield was the 2015 recipient of the Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award and the 2000 recipient of the Warren Christopher Award for Outstanding Achievement in Global Affairs. She has received several Superior, Meritorious, and Performance awards, including the Presidential Meritorious Service Award. She was a 2010 inductee into the Louisiana State University Alumni Association Hall of Distinction.
Prior to joining the Department of State, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield taught political science at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania. She earned a bachelor's degree from Louisiana State University and a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, where she also did work towards a doctorate.