U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a former Badger, is set to visit Madison Friday to speak on U.S. Africa policy.

Thomas-Greenfield will also speak with middle and high school students who are part of the Pre-College Enrichment Opportunity Program for Learning Excellence program.

Thomas-Greenfield was appointed by President Barack Obama to be the nation’s top diplomat to Africa after a 32-year career in the State Department, according to a university statement. The University of Wisconsin graduate has held posts at embassies across the world, including U.S. ambassador to Liberia.

“Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield has pursued a brilliant career in the American Foreign Service after earning a master’s degree in political science and African studies at UW-Madison and completing her dissertation field work in Liberia in the late 1970s,” professor Crawford Young said in the statement. “She is one of the highest-ranking Badgers in the Obama administration.”

Besides her lecture titled “U.S. Africa Policy,” which is at 4 p.m. Friday in the Alumni Lounge at the Pyle Center, Thomas-Greenfield will be meeting with pre-college students who are PEOPLE program members. The PEOPLE program provides guidance to students of color and low-income students on college preparation. 

Thomas-Greenfield’s lecture will be free and open to the public.

[Photo by Jeff Miller/UW Communications]