The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield to serve as the United States ambassador to the United Nations. The vote was 78-20.
President Joe Biden tapped Thomas-Greenfield, a Foreign Service veteran, to join his cabinet early on. The diplomat formerly served as assistant secretary of state for African affairs in the State Department from 2013-2017.
One member of Congress praised Thomas Greenfield for a career dedicated to bolstering America’s standing in the world.
“We traveled to the continent together many times and I’ve always admired her leadership,” said Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Global Human Rights. “I am so proud of her confirmation today and eagerly look forward to working with her in this new role. This confirmation sends a message that the United States is back and that our foreign service is back.”
Bass recently re-introduced the Represent America Abroad Act of 2021 to ensure that the U.S. Foreign Service reflects the rich composition of the American citizenry. The legislation establishes a program to identify, attract and welcome diverse mid-career professionals into the Foreign Service.
The Represent America Abroad Act of 2021 would establish a program known as the “Represent America Abroad Mid-career Foreign Service Entry Program”. The program is to be created no later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of the bill, with the mission of ensuring that our country’s diplomatic workforce reflects the diverse composition of the United States.
Last year, the Government Accountability Office released a report suggesting that the State Department look at the longstanding issues contributing to its diversity problems and do a better job of addressing barriers to equal opportunity in its workforce.
“The Biden administration’s intentional push to put racial equity and diversity at the center of every facet of their policy agenda is absolutely crucial to the success of their initiatives,” said Bass. “This bill is consistent with that effort. To have a successful foreign policy, our foreign service must look like America.”
She noted that the Foreign Service Officer workforce must mirror our commitment to diversity and inclusion in order to effectively advance American values on the world stage. “For years, the State Department has expressed a commitment to building a workforce in that vision. I look forward to working with both the State Department and my colleagues here in Congress to increase the diversity at the mid-career and senior levels among our diplomatic corps.”
Bass considers Thomas-Greenfield an important part of the Black State Department legacy. “We as a country and as a world are safer with Linda Thomas-Greenfield serving as the United States ambassador to the United Nations.”