The Senate confirmed on Tuesday that Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a veteran diplomat, will become the United States' Ambassador to the United Nations as President Biden's administration seeks to become a more active force in the global body, which was marked by the US withdrawal during the Trump administration.
Mrs. Thomas-Greenfield's affirmation, by 78-20 votes, is the latest chapter in a rise that began in her hometown of Louisiana, where she attended segregated schools and had a childhood, in the early 1950s, punctuated by racial tensions.
As America's Top Representative to the United Nations, Mrs. Thomas-Greenfield, 68, said it will begin to rebuild alliances and re-engage in multilateral efforts to address global challenges such as the coronavirus pandemic.
"America is back," said Ms Thomas-Greenfield, when Mr Biden announced her nomination in November, echoing a theme Mr Biden in talks with other world leaders. “Multilateralism is back. Diplomacy is back. "
Mrs. Thomas-Greenfield joined the Foreign Service in 1982. She served as Ambassador to Liberia from 2008 to 2012, before becoming Director General of the Foreign Service for about a year. From 2013 to 2017, she was the top US diplomat for African affairs, where she helped oversee the response to the Ebola epidemic. In 2017 she was one of the diplomats Pushed out of the department by Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson.
During her tenure she became known for some she calls & # 39; Gumbo diplomacy & # 39; referring to the cajun dish she often prepared with her foreign counterparts to break down barriers during diplomatic talks.
Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill have expressed some concern, particularly around a speech she delivered in October 2019 about Africa's relationship with both China and the United States.
In the speech, at Savannah State University, she praised the benefits of US collaboration with China in cultivating enhanced relationships with the developing world of Africa, one of her key areas of expertise.
The speech conspicuously lacked any criticism of China's human rights record or the pattern of predatory lending practices in developing countries desperate for investment. It was sponsored by the Confucius Institute, a Chinese government educational organization accused by US officials of spreading pro-Chinese propaganda in schools in the United States and elsewhere.