Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield

This post was written by Katie Conti, Program Coordinator in the Meridian Center for Global Leadership. It is a part of a blog series highlighting and acknowledging the work and contributions of Black diplomats during Black History Month. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield is a distinguished career diplomat and trailblazer for women and people of color in the field of foreign affairs. From “gumbo diplomacy,” her Cajun spin on building cultural connections, to the strength drawn from lessons of kindness and compassion instilled by her mother at a young age, she brings a unique frame of reference to her newly sworn-in...

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Former United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

This post was written by Katie Hudak Senior Program Associate / Social Media Facilitator at Meridian. It is a part of a blog series highlighting and acknowledging the work and contributions of Black diplomats during Black History Month. American political scientist and diplomat Condoleezza Rice broke barriers when she became the first black woman to serve as the United State’s national security adviser, as well as the second woman and first black woman to serve as U.S. Secretary of State (2005-2009).  Born in 1954 in Alabama to Angelena Ray Rice, a high school science, music and oratory teacher, and John Wesley Rice, Jr., a high school guidance...

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Ambassador Dwight L. Bush

This post was contributed by the Honorable Dwight L. Bush, former U.S. Ambassador to Morocco. It is a part of a blog series highlighting and acknowledging the work and contributions of Black diplomats during Black History Month. I had always hoped that I would have the opportunity to do public service for our great country. Becoming an ambassador provided a perfect opportunity to serve. I am fortunate to have had broad academic, business and international philanthropic experiences which, taken as a whole, prepared me well for being an ambassador. I studied economics and government at Cornell University. Most of...

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Ambassador John Reinhardt

This post was written by Kara Zelasko, the Senior Cultural Programs Associate at Meridian. It is a part of a blog series highlighting and acknowledging the work and contributions of Black diplomats during Black History Month. Meridian’s Center for Cultural Diplomacy (MCCD) owes a lot to the legacy of John Reinhardt, who in 1957 became a Foreign Service Officer for the United States Information Agency (USIA), which was merely a year after USIA launched its first cultural initiative. As the USIA expanded its cultural diplomacy efforts, Reinhardt continued to gain experience in the Foreign Service. Eventually, he returned to the...

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Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins

This post was contributed by Jezza Syed, GlobalConnect Programs and Data Management Fellow. It is a part of a blog series highlighting and acknowledging the work and contributions of Black diplomats during Black History Month. Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, born in Queens, NY, currently serves as the Incoming Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs in President Joe Biden’s Administration. Jenkins started her political career early as a Presidential Management Fellow under the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Office of Management and Budget. She advanced in her diplomatic and political career as a...

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