President-elect Joe Biden is poised to pick Linda Thomas-Greenfield as his United Nations ambassador, potentially the second black woman to hold the post.
Thomas-Greenfield was former President Barack Obama’s assistant secretary of state for African affairs from 2013 to 2017. Former President George W. Bush appointed her as his ambassador to Liberia in 2008. She stayed in the role under Obama until 2012, when she became his foreign service director general, rising quickly though the State Department’s ranks.
Biden is expected to name Thomas-Greenfield, as well as those other top national security and diplomatic positions, on Tuesday. Thomas-Greenfield’s promotion was first reported by the Washington Post and Axios.
Tony Blinken, Obama’s deputy secretary of state, is the leading contender for Biden’s secretary of state. Jake Sullivan, Hillary Clinton’s State Department deputy chief of staff and planning director, is the frontrunner for his national security adviser.
A Biden transition spokesman declined to comment regarding the announcements.
Blinken, Sullivan, and Thomas-Greenfield embody Biden’s internationalist approach to foreign policy, a departure from President Trump’s “America first” posture of the last four years.
Susan Rice was the first black woman nominated to be the country’s chief diplomat to the United Nations. Rice served under the Obama administration.
Biden promised during his presidential campaign to assemble a diverse group for his Cabinet and senior administration officials. UN ambassador isn’t automatically considered a Cabinet-level post, but is likely to be elevated by Biden.