On February 23, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Linda Thomas-Greenfield as the 31st U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Thomas-Greenfield, who received a master’s from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, as well as an honorary doctorate, brings more than 30 years of experience to the post.
As leader of the U.S. delegation to the global organization, Thomas-Greenfield will shoulder substantial responsibilities. In remarks to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Jan. 27, 2021, Thomas-Greenfield acknowledged some of the major issues faced by the world.
“From climate change to COVID-19, nonproliferation to mass migration, technological disruptions to human rights violations, today’s problems are urgent, they are complex, and they are global,” said Thomas-Greenfield. “Meeting these challenges means meeting with our fellow nations, especially in the world’s most important diplomatic forum.”
She also emphasized the importance of a strong U.S. presence at the U.N.
“I never expected I would have the chance to step into the shoes of so many luminaries,” Thomas-Greenfield said. “Like my mentors, role models, and predecessors, I strongly believe diplomacy is an irreplaceable tool in the work of advancing America’s interests and building a better world. Throughout my career from Jamaica to Nigeria, Pakistan to Switzerland and as Ambassador to Liberia, I’ve learned that effective diplomacy means more than shaking hands and staging photo ops. It means developing real, robust relationships. It means finding common ground and managing points of differentiation. It means doing genuine, old fashion, people-to-people diplomacy.”
“The UW–Madison community celebrates this appointment by one of our best alums to one of the top diplomatic jobs in the country. This appointment reflects Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield’s lifetime of public service working to promote global cooperation,” said Chancellor Rebecca Blank. “Her career and her leadership continues to inspire our students.”
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You can also read her recent interview with the UW Alumni Association here.