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Diversifying Diplomacy
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Ambassador Harriet Elam-Thomas an accomplished black woman who beat the odds and challenged the status quo. Inspired by the strong women in her life, she followed in the footsteps of the few women who had gone before her in her effort to make the Foreign Service reflect the diverse faces of the United States
Episode Segments:
 
The Urban Connection: Harriet Elam-Thomas
Today, diverse women of all hues represent this country overseas. Some have called this development the “Hillary Effect.” But well before our most recent female secretary of state there was Madeleine Albright, the first woman to serve in that capacity, and later Condoleezza Rice. Beginning at a more junior post in the Department of State in 1971, there was “the little Elam girl” from Boston- our guest Harriet Elam-Thomas
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Guest(s) Appearing on this Episode
Harriet Lee Elam-Thomas
Harriet Elam-Thomas grew up in Boston, the youngest of five children. She graduated from Simmons College and later earned a Master’s Degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts. Beginning a four-decade career in the Foreign Service, Elam-Thomas served her first tour in Senegal, worked in public diplomacy in Mali and Cote D’Ivoire, was Cultural Attaché in Athens, Director of the Cultural Center in Istanbul, Counselor of Public Affairs in Brussels, and Counselor of the U.S. Information Agency. In 1999, President Bill Clinton nominated her to be U.S. Ambassador to Senegal; she served in that capacity from 2000-2002. From 2003 to 2005, Elam-Thomas was the Diplomat-in-Residence at the University of Central Florida. She retired at the rank of Career Minister.

Learn More about Ambassador Elam-Thomas