Jendayi E. Frazer, who served as President George W. Bush’s Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, said the United States “lost a lot of diplomatic credibility” in the United Nations during the Trump administration.
Ms Thomas-Greenfield “is going to have to cancel a lot of this work,” Frazer said. “But she’s the perfect person to do it, because of her diplomatic style.”
Throughout her diplomatic career, Ms Thomas-Greenfield was known for mentoring young State Department employees and for using an approach to foreign policy that relied on relationships and personal relationships, several said. former State Department officials.
Dehab Ghebreab, a 27-year foreign service veteran who worked with her in Liberia, remembers a particular time when Ms Thomas-Greenfield was the ambassador stationed in Monrovia.
In 2012, Ms Thomas-Greenfield decided that the rise in harassment against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth needed to be addressed, Ms Ghebreab said. To do this, she invited a group of eight people to lunch, and around a spread of okra, chicken, fish and rice, she reunited the country’s Information Minister with two LGBT youth and members of the media to talk and eat.
Hours after the country’s information minister left, he issued a statement condemning the rise in abuses, said Ms Ghebreab, which surprised some embassy staff as most senior politicians in the countries had refused to tackle the problem.
“It’s very effective,” Ms. Ghebreab said.
Pranshu Verma reported from Washington, and Rick gladstone from New York. Emily cochrane contributed to the Washington report.