Former United States Ambassador to Liberia and Assistant Secretary for African Affairs in the Obama Administration, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, is expected now to represent the United States at the United Nations as its Ambassador when the Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Administration takes over from Donald Trump in January next year.
Upon claiming victory in the just ended November election in the United States, President-elect Biden tasked Ambassador Greenfield to head the transition team at the level of the US State Department where she has served for many years except during the administration of Trump.
With 35 years of experience in the U.S. Foreign Service, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield served as Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs under the Obama-Biden Administration and diplomatic positions for the US for Liberia, Switzerland, Pakistan, Kenya, The Gambia, Nigeria, and Jamaica.
While in Liberia as an Ambassador, Linda Thomas-Greenfield achieved a lot in transforming post-war Liberia through her diplomatic interventions. For instance, she was one of the key instrumentalists of the reformation of the Armed Forces of Liberia who enhanced US support to the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL). It may be recalled that during her stay here, US provided a number of boats for the Coast Guard Unit to enable them guard Liberia’s territorial waters.
The intervention of Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield and the US Government in Liberia rebranded the AFL as “a force for good” so conscientious in human rights and defense of the land.
During Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield’s administration in Liberia as an Ambassador, the United States supported the Government of Liberia through USAID to build the headquarters of the National Elections Commission on 9th Street.
Interestingly, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield has a deeper connection with Liberia that predeates her ambassadorial position here. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Liberia with specific area of assignment in Lofa County. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield’s stay in Lofa leaves no doubt in the minds of Liberians from there that they have their daughter in the United States.
In fact, before Liberia’s 2017 election, she visited the country and sternly warned Liberians to build a patriotic spirit to vote by considering who will have the country at heart to bring its needed development instead of voting on party lines, tribal lines or on the basis of sectionalism.
In her comments at the African Methodist Episcopal University on Camp Johnson Road at the time, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield, who is well acquainted with the political and demographic structures of Liberia lamented that the country was retrogressing and needed a true nationalist to take it from where it was at the time to the height of prosperity and that there was no time to prioritize individual interests above the interest of the state, noting that doing so will harm it in the next 10 years.
Though an American, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield during her speech admitted that she is equally a Liberian like any other Liberian, based on the relationship she built while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer and an Ambassador, and the welfare of Liberia is dear to her heart that she cannot sit to see its future go down the drain.
Nevertheless, the Ambassador said, the burden is on the voters and elected officials who are to drive Liberia to its brighter future, and all eyes were on them to see how they will meet their responsibilities to their beloved country. As she now takes on the top UN job for her own country, Liberians wish for her the best, hoping that she will be there for both the United States and Liberia who are historically tied together.