Washington, DC — The U.S. Senate has voted to substantiate Linda Thomas-Greenfield as United States ambassador to the United Nations. The vote was 78-20. The veteran diplomat is the Cupboard-level member of the Biden-Harris group with probably the most in depth Africa resume.
Her 35-year profession within the overseas service consists of excursions as assistant secretary for Africa and U.S. ambassador to Liberia. She served because the State Division’s Director Common, the official who manages the U.S. overseas service world wide. Whereas her UN transient means her tasks span the globe, she is more likely to be one of many administration’s most influential voices on Africa points. She assumes the publish just a few days earlier than the USA assumes the rotating presidency of the Safety Council.
Consultants in High Posts on Biden-Harris Group Might Sign New Coverage Path
What Linda Thomas-Greenfield Means for U.S. World Engagement and Partnership with Africa
Already, the newly confirmed ambassador’s affect is clear within the selection of Dana Banks as senior director for Africa on the U.S. Nationwide Safety Council (NSC), the White Home workplace that coordinates nationwide safety and overseas coverage for the Govt Department. Banks – one among Thomas-Greenfield’s former particular assistants on the Division of State – is a overseas service officer who most lately was deputy political counselor on the U.S. Embassy in South Africa, following excursions at American embassies in Togo and Tanzania.
Thomas-Greenfield has tapped as her senior Africa advisor Lesley Anne Warner, a overseas affairs and safety analyst for the Home Overseas Affairs Committee, now chaired by Gregory Meeks (Democrat-New York), the primary black lawmaker in that publish.
Different NSC staffers with Africa experience embrace senior director for improvement, world well being and humanitarian response is Linda Etim, who was answerable for Africa on the U.S. Company for Worldwide Growth (USAID) through the Obama administration, has been senior advisor for Africa Coverage on the Invoice and Melinda Gates Basis and served on the Biden-Harris transition group.
The brand new NSC chief of employees is Yohannes Abraham, whose dad and mom immigrated from Ethiopia earlier than he was born. He labored within the Obama White Home and have become a senior adviser on the Obama Basis and Adjunct Lecturer on the Harvard Kennedy College earlier than the election. He, too, labored on the Biden-Harris transition.
One other senior official with Africa expertise is Samantha Energy, who’s awaiting Senate motion on her nomination to steer USAID. In 2003, she received a Pulitzer Prize for her guide – A Drawback from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide – inspecting the U.S. response to genocide. Concerning the administration of President Invoice Clinton’s choice to not intervene within the 1994 Rwanda genocide that led to the deaths of an estimated 800,000 folks over 100 days she wrote that “American leaders didn’t act as a result of they didn’t wish to.” rejecting. Energy served on the NSC employees underneath President Obama, who named her U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in 2013, when Susan Rice turned Obama’s NSC advisor. Rice is heading the Biden-Harris Home Coverage Council.
Excessive-level Biden-Harris nominees additionally embrace Adewale Adeyemo – tapped for the quantity two publish within the Treasury Division – who was born in Nigeria’s Osun State, grew up in California after immigrating along with his dad and mom and two siblings. He graduated from College of California Berkeley and Yale Regulation College. If confirmed, he’ll change into the primary black Deputy Secretary at Treasury, the place he served through the Obama administration earlier than turning into the deputy director of the nationwide financial council and later the president’s senior worldwide financial adviser. Most lately, he has been president of the Obama Basis.
One other Nigerian-American on the Biden-Harris group is Osaremen Okolo, who’s a coverage advisor within the White Home Workplace on the Covid-19 Response. She strikes to the manager department from Capitol Hill, the place she was senior well being coverage advisor to Illinois Democrat, Consultant Jan Schakowsky. Earlier than that she suggested the Senate Committee on Well being, Training, Labor and Pensions.
Nigerian-born Funmi Olorunnipa Badejo has additionally moved from Capitol Hill to the White Home to function affiliate counsel within the Workplace of White Home Counsel. A graduate of Berkeley Regulation, she labored within the Division of Justice and the White Home Counsel workplace.
The Biden administration’s upcoming appointment that’s highest on the radar of Africa watchers is assistant secretary for Africa on the State Division. No nominee has been introduced amid hypothesis whether or not the publish will go to a profession official or a political choose. Amongst these lobbying for a high-profile choice is Mel Foote from the Washington-based Constituency for Africa, who’s advocating for the publish to go to an African American.
Whereas formulation of Africa coverage entails businesses all through the federal government, day-to-day administration of relations with Africa stays largely the province of the Africa Bureau on the division, which oversees relations with 49 African international locations and the Africa Union.
The bureau is at the moment headed by Robert F. Godec, a former ambassador to Kenya, who moved from principal deputy assistant secretary to appearing assistant secretary when the tenure of Tibor Nagy ended on Inauguration Day. Nagy, a retired profession diplomat, was appointed by President Trump and confirmed for the job in 2018.
Different high officers within the Bureau embrace Elizabeth Fitzsimmons, a profession diplomat and Performing Principal Deputy who coordinates congressional, public affairs, and public diplomacy efforts (AF/PDPA). Different deputy assistant secretaries consists of Matt Harrington, southern Africa (AF/S) and financial and regional affairs (AF/ERA); Mike Gonzales, regional peace and safety (AF/RPS) and west Africa (AF/W); Bryan Hunt – the Sudans (AF/SSS) and east Africa (AF/E); and Margy Bond – central Africa (AF/C). Janette Yarwood, who been employees director for the Home Africa Subcommittee chaired by Rep. Karen Bass, has joined the Bureau as senior advisor.
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