Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a member of the Career Foreign Service, has served as the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs since 2013. In this capacity, she leads 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 34-year Foreign Service career includes an ambassadorship to Liberia (2008-20120), and foreign 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 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, 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. .