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United States confirms long-serving diplomat to lead a delegation to Pacific Islands Forum

Wednesday 27 September 2023 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Economy, National, Pacific Islands, Regional


United States confirms long-serving diplomat to lead a delegation to Pacific Islands Forum
Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield. 230927100

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield will lead the United States Delegation at the Pacific Islands Forum in Rarotonga on November 10.

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Representative to the United Nations, will lead the United States’ delegation to the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Leaders Session with Forum Dialogue Partners in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, to be held on November 10.

The Ambassador will meet with Pacific Island leaders and other stakeholders to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to the region and help galvanize further international cooperation on climate change, sustainable development, regional security, and other challenges, the United States government said in a statement. 

“The United States remains a steadfast partner in supporting the 2050 Strategy for a Blue Pacific Continent and the region’s priorities. While at the Forum, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield will engage in continued dialogue and partnership and underscore the importance for all nations to support the international system and its essential role in delivering on our shared objectives.”

Thomas-Greenfield was nominated by United States President Joe Biden to be the Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations as well as the Representative of the United States of America in the Security Council of the United Nations on January 20, 2021.  

She was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on February 23, 2021, and sworn in on February 24, 2021 by the Vice President of the United States of America.

Thomas-Greenfield, a career diplomat, returned to public service after retiring from a 35-year career with the U.S. Foreign Service in 2017.  

From 2013 to 2017 she served as the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, where she led the bureau 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 in charge of the State Department’s 70,000-strong workforce.

Thomas-Greenfield’s distinguished Foreign Service career includes an ambassadorship to Liberia (2008-2012), and postings in Switzerland (at the United States Mission to the United Nations, Geneva), Pakistan, Kenya, The Gambia, Nigeria, and Jamaica.  In Washington, she served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of African Affairs (2006-2008), and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (2004-2006).

After retiring from the U.S. State Department in 2017, Thomas-Greenfield led the Africa Practice at Albright Stonebridge Group, a strategic commercial diplomacy firm chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.  She was also the inaugural Distinguished Resident Fellow in African Studies at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University from fall 2017 to spring 2019.

Thomas-Greenfield was the 2017 recipient of University of Minnesota Hubert Humphrey Public Leadership Award, 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 holds 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.  She received an honorary Doctor of Law degree from the University of Wisconsin in May 2018 and an honorary Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Liberia in May 2012.

A statement from the United States government said, as the region’s premier political and economic policy organisation, the Pacific Islands Forum had long served as an essential forum for discussing critical issues and advancing the prosperity and peace in the Pacific.

Additional information would be provided in the coming weeks.