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Hidden Figures: Women in Diplomacy

08/26/2020 05:30 PM - 06:30 PM MT


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Race & Justice in World Affairs: Part 2

Ambassador (ret.) Harriet Elam-Thomas is one of our country’s most accomplished diplomats. She is a recipient of the Director General’s Cup for the Foreign Service, the most prestigious honor for former foreign service officers. Her recent book, Diversifying Diplomacy, tells the story of her journey as a Black woman rising through the ranks of the U.S. State Department. Her presentation on August 26 will focus on the hidden figures who have long powered our foreign policy with little or no recognition outside of the department.

This event is free and open to the community. 

About Our Speaker

Ambassador (retired) Harriet Elam-Thomas

Ambassador Harriet Elam-Thomas directs a rapidly growing global initiative at the University of Central Florida, the Diplomacy Program, which features education and training for undergraduate students. From 2003-2005, she served as Diplomat in Residence at UCF under the auspices of a national U.S. Department of State program. In that capacity, she was the U.S. Department of State’s official liaison in Central Florida, conducting workshops, providing information on careers, connecting students to internship and scholarship opportunities, and speaking on policy matters. Until the fall of 2005, she was a Senior Foreign Service Officer with the rank of Career Minister. Previously she served as U.S. Ambassador to Senegal from 1999-2003; Chief of Mission to Guinea-Bissau; Acting Director of USIA; Cultural Attaché at the American Embassy in Athens; Country Affairs Officer for Greece, Turkey and Cyprus; Director of the American Press and Cultural Center, American Consulate, Istanbul, Turkey; and in other positions at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, the President’s Appointments Office at the White House and the Foreign Service Personnel Office. Amb. Elam-Thomas’ additional posts abroad were in France, Mali and the Ivory Coast. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the U.S. Government’s Superior Honor Award, the Lois Roth Award for Excellence in Informational and Cultural Diplomacy, and a Group Superior and Meritorious Honor Award for her work in connection with the first Persian Gulf War. In 2007, she received the Director General’s Cup of the U.S. Department of State. She holds a B.S. in International Business from Simmons College and an M.A. in Public Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. She speaks Turkish, Greek and French. Amb. Elam-Thomas is partly sponsored by the Global Connections Foundation.


About Our Moderator

Tina Walls

Tina Walls is passionate about sharing the arts and culture of the under-represented with the Denver community. Retired from corporate life, today she serves as Education and Community Engagement Committee Chair for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and as a member of the Collections Committee at the Denver Art Museum and the Advisory Committee for Cleo Parker Robinson Dance. Internationally she is President of Save Venice. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Mills College, Oakland, CA, and from the Executive Program at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.

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