Heather Joy Thompson joined the Department of State in 2008. She served two years at the consulate general in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she was the American Citizen Services Chief. Ms. Thompson and fellow FSO Katharine Nanavatty co-founded the Abafazi Ambassadors program, a partnership between the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls and the U.S. Mission to South Africa. She was also instrumental in helping the LEAD Program in Business create its first international summer business institutes in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Ms. Thompson is presently enrolled in language courses at FSI and will begin a Washington-based tour this spring.
Previously, Ms. Thompson, a licensed attorney, worked for Sean "Diddy" Combs, first as his assistant and then as the head of his "Vote or Die" get-out-the-vote campaign. A Michigan native, Ms. Thompson earned her undergraduate degree in studio art from Spelman College and law degree from Wayne State University. As a proud and dedicated Spelman College alumna, she was honored to give the keynote address at her ten year class reunion in 2009. In honor of Black History Month, Ms. Thompson will co-chair "Reintroducing Rosa", an event to highlight the legacy of Rosa Parks, at the National Press Club on February 4, 2011.