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Campus Events, General Information, Lectures & Seminars, Media Advisory

LSU Alumna Linda Thomas-Greenfield to Speak at May Commencement

Thomas-Greenfield, director general of the Foreign Service and director of human resources, recently served as ambassador to the Republic of Liberia

04/17/2012 08:58 AM

BATON ROUGE – Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources Linda Thomas-Greenfield will deliver the keynote address at LSU’s spring commencement exercises on Friday, May 18, at 9 a.m.


Thomas-Greenfield, an LSU alumna and a member of the Career Foreign Service, will speak at the main ceremony of LSU’s 277th commencement, which will be held in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center and will be followed by individual diploma ceremonies for each college.


“We are pleased to welcome Linda Thomas-Greenfield back to campus to speak during commencement,” said LSU Chancellor Michael Martin. “It’s always great to bring someone with such a stellar career and resume to speak at graduation, and with her being a fellow Tiger, it makes it all the more exciting. It’s a global world that we are living in, and with her experience in the U.S. Foreign Service, her commencement message is one that will include many important lessons for our graduates.”


Thomas-Greenfield was sworn in on April 2 as director general of the Foreign Service and director of Human Resources. Prior to her recent appointment, she served as ambassador to the Republic of Liberia from 2008-2012.


Since beginning her Foreign Service career in 1982 as a consular officer at Embassy Kingston, Thomas-Greenfield has risen through the ranks to the Minister Counselor level. She has served in Jamaica, Nigeria, The Gambia, Kenya, Pakistan and Switzerland, in addition to work in the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration and the Office of the Director General of the Foreign Service.


Thomas-Greenfield served as principal deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau for African Affairs from January 2006 to July 2008 and as deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration from June 2004 to January 2006.


Thomas-Greenfield was the 2000 recipient of the Warren Christopher Award for Outstanding Achievement in Global Affairs, in recognition of her work with refugees. She has received several Superior, Meritorious and Performance awards during her career, including a 2007 and 2008 Presidential Meritorious Service Award. She was a 2010 inductee in the LSU Alumni Association Hall of Distinction. In 2011, she received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters in International Relations from the University of Liberia and a Doctor of Humane Letters Honoris Causa from Cuttington University.


Prior to joining the Department of State, Thomas-Greenfield taught political science at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Penn. She earned a bachelor's degree from LSU and a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, where she also completed work towards a doctorate. She is a Louisiana native with a reputation for her culinary prowess. She is married to a retired Foreign Service specialist and has two adult children.


For more information on LSU’s 277th commencement exercises, visit

LSU Media Relations