Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a member of the Career Foreign Service, was confirmed by the Senate on August 1, 2013 and sworn in on August 6, 2013 as the next Assistant Secretary for African Affairs.
Prior to assuming her current position, as Director General she led a team of about 400 employees who carried out the full range of personnel functions for the State Department’s 60,000-strong workforce - from recruitment and hiring, through evaluations and promotions, to retirement.
Since beginning her Foreign Service career in 1982 as a consular officer in Kingston, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield has risen through the ranks to the Minister Counselor level. Overseas she has served in Jamaica, Nigeria, The Gambia, Kenya, Pakistan, Switzerland (at the U.S. Mission to the UN), and most recently as Ambassador to the Republic of Liberia, where she served from 2008 to 2012. In Washington she has worked in the Bureau of Human Resources, as well as the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, where she was a Deputy Assistant Secretary from 2004 to 2006, and the Bureau of African Affairs, where she was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary from 2006 to 2008.
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.