The Diversity Network Leadership Interview Series highlights leaders inside and outside of higher education who support and are working to increase underrepresented students participation in international education as well as study in diverse locations.
The series provides higher education professionals with a window into the thoughts, opinions, and recommendations of various leaders in regard to diversity issues in global education.
On behalf of the Diversity Network and its members we are honored to be able to share the opinions of such respected and accomplished individuals.
Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a member of the Career Foreign Service, was sworn in on April 2, 2012 as Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources. Prior to this appointment, she served as Ambassador to the Republic of Liberia from 2008-2012.
Since beginning her Foreign Service career in 1982 as a Consular Officer at Embassy Kingston, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield has risen through the ranks to the Minister Counselor level. She has served in Jamaica, Nigeria, The Gambia, Kenya, Pakistan, and Switzerland, in addition to work in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration and the Office of the Director General of the Foreign Service. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau for African Affairs from January 2006 to July 2008 and as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration from June 2004 to January 2006.
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield was the 2000 recipient of the Warren Christopher Award for Outstanding Achievement in Global Affairs in recognition of her work with refugees. She has received several Superior, Meritorious, and Performance awards during her career, including a 2007 and 2008 Presidential Meritorious Service Award. She was a 2010 inductee in the Louisiana State University Alumni Association Hall of Distinction. In 2011, the Ambassador received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters in International Relations from the University of Liberia and a Doctor of Humane Letters Honoris Causa from Cuttington University.
Prior to joining the Department of State, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield taught Political Science at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. She earned a bachelor's degree from Louisiana State University and a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, where she also completed work towards a doctorate.
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield is a Louisiana native with a reputation for her culinary prowess.