Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, United States Ambassador to the United Nations and Jonquilyn Hill, Host, The Weeds
We are in a multi-polar world and we have worked to ensure that we are continuing to take a leadership role in that world.
Vox’s The Weeds, a policy and politics podcast hosted by Jonquilyn Hill, held a special live recording during TruCon featuring Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. The episode, available for listening here, covers a wide variety of topics, including diversity in the foreign service, U.S. policy toward Africa, and changes at the United Nations.
Hill started the conversation by pointing out the rarity of having two Black people featured in a discussion surrounding foreign policy. In response to a question about increasing diversity in the foreign service, Amb. Thomas-Greenfield explained that the best way to improve inclusion in any field, including foreign policy, is to expose youth to a wide variety of career paths. “I didn’t know this was an option for me,” she said. “I gave a speech at a high school recently for graduation. I told them I never had a me to come speak to my high school class, so I didn't know diplomacy was an option. Now they have that knowledge as they go off to college.”
On U.S. relations with Africa, Amb. Thomas-Greenfield was very positive about the longstanding connection between the U.S. and African allies. The ambassador expounded upon American efforts in places like Sudan, where the U.S. is pushing for a civilian-led government and end to a brutal conflict, or the Horn of Africa, where the U.S. is working to end regional famines. On China’s increasing presence on the continent, the ambassador emphasized that the U.S. does not aim to tell others what their foreign policy should be.
In the audience question-and-answer portion of the program, Amb. Thomas-Greenfield emphasized that in an increasingly multilateral world, the U.S. still has a responsibility to take a leadership role, one that is well supported by other U.N. member states. On countering the rise of authoritarianism and addressing issues like human rights or sustainable development, the ambassador emphasized the importance of global cooperation driven by an active U.S. foreign policy, especially one that highlights contributions from underrepresented voices.