Politics

Linda Thomas-Greenfield confirmed as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations

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Key Points
  • The Senate voted 78-20 on Tuesday to confirm Linda Thomas-Greenfield as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
  • Thomas-Greenfield has a lengthy career serving as a diplomat, with most of the time dedicated to U.S. efforts in Africa.
  • She had been criticized for a 2019 speech on China that she ultimately called a mistake.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield speaks before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on her nomination to be the United States Ambassador to the United Nations on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., January 27, 2021.
Michael Reynolds | Pool | Reuters

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Linda Thomas-Greenfield as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

She was confirmed by a vote of 78-20.

In a second Tuesday vote, to officially designate Thomas-Greenfield as the U.S. representative in United Nations General Assembly meetings, the Senate backed her 78-21.

Thomas-Greenfield has a lengthy career serving as a diplomat, with most of the time dedicated to U.S. efforts in Africa. The Louisiana native was an ambassador to Liberia and assistant secretary of State for African Affairs during the Obama administration.

During her Jan. 27 confirmation hearing, she was peppered with questions regarding her policy approach to China.

Critics, including GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, said she had gone too easy on China in a 2019 speech at an institute that had been suspected of pushing Chinese propaganda.

In response, Thomas-Greenfield called the speech a mistake and vowed to limit Beijing's influence at U.N. General Assembly meetings.