President-elect Joe Biden chose Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a University of Wisconsin alumna to be the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Thomas-Greenfield is a UW and Louisiana State University alumna and has worked with the Young African Leaders Initiative on the UW campus. Thomas-Greenfield received an honorary Doctor of Law degree from UW in May 2018.

Biden’s intention is to draw from a diverse cross section of America when building his cabinet, unlike President Trump’s cabinet which was more white and male than any in nearly 40 years, according to the New York Times.

According to CBS News, Thomas-Greenfield will face issues including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and the nuclear standoff with Iran as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

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Thomas-Greenfield has served as the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs since 2013 and leads the bureau in the Department of State focused on the development and management of U.S. policy toward sub-Saharan Africa, according to the U.S. Department of State website.

Thomas-Greenfield’s previous careers include Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of African Affairs, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, an ambassadorship to Liberia and foreign postings in Switzerland, Pakistan, Kenya, The Gambia, Nigeria and Jamaica.

According to the Albright Stonebridge Group website, Thomas-Greenfield has won many awards, including the Hubert Humphrey Public Leadership Award, the Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award and the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award, to name a few. 

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Thomas-Greenfield’s aim will be to diversify the ranks of the Biden foreign policy team. In a tweet, Thomas-Greenfield said her goal is to improve the world through positivity.

“My mother taught me to lead with the power of kindness and compassion to make the world a better place,” Thomas-Greenfield said. “I’ve carried that lesson with me throughout my career in Foreign Service — and, if confirmed, will do the same as Ambassador to the United Nations.”

Biden has also selected Avril Haines, Alejandro Mayorkas, Jake Sullivan, John Kerry, Antony Blinken and Janet Yellen as members of his cabinet.