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Sub-Saharan Africa, with some of the world’s highest projected population growths, is becoming younger, more urban, mobile, and educated. Infrastructure, food and water resources, health care, education, and governance will all be strained. Are the countries in this vast region able to respond to these developments, especially with the complication of a global pandemic? How will the rest of the world, particularly the United States and China, engage with the region going forward? Join the World Affairs Council and Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, for a conversation on the future of sub-Saharan Africa.
About the Speaker
Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield is a Senior Vice President at ASG, where she draws on her long and distinguished career as a U.S. diplomat to help the clients of ASG’s Africa practice.
She joined ASG after serving as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (2013 – 2017). In this capacity, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield led U.S. policy toward sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on peace and security, democracy and governance, economic empowerment and investment opportunities. Prior to this appointment, she served as Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources where she oversaw all personnel functions for the U.S. Department of State’s 70,000-strong workforce.
Previously, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield served as U.S. Ambassador to Liberia (2008-2012) and held postings in Switzerland (at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations), Pakistan, Kenya, The Gambia, Nigeria, and Jamaica. Her Washington postings include the Bureau of African Affairs, where she served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, and the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, where she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary. Prior to joining the U.S. Department of State, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield taught political science at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania.
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield was awarded the Hubert Humphrey Public Leadership Award, the Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award, and the Warren Christopher Award for Outstanding Achievement in Global Affairs. She has also received the Presidential Rank Award and the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award.
She earned a bachelor's degree from Louisiana State University and a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin, where she worked towards a PhD. She received an honorary Doctor of Law degree from the University of Wisconsin in May 2018.
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield is also a Distinguished Resident Fellow in African Affairs at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University Walsh School of Foreign Service.
She is based in Washington, DC.
About the Moderator
Jamaica Corker is a Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. A demographer whose work and research focus on population dynamics in sub-Saharan Africa, she has spent more than six years working in Africa, including with the CDC and the WHO as part of the West African Ebola response, as the Family Planning Technical Advisor with PSI in the DR Congo, as an independent consult for family planning programs throughout West Africa, and serving with Peace Corps in Guinea. Jamaica holds a Ph.D. in Demography from the University of Pennsylvania and a M.Sc. in Population and Development from the London School of Economics. A Seattle native and an alumna of the World Affairs Council Seattle Fellows Program, Jamaica is thrilled to have returned to the Pacific Northwest and to be actively engaged with international affairs from her hometown.