Jennifer Rigg, Executive Director
Washington, DC, February 24, 2021 – The Global Campaign for Education-US (GCE-US) welcomes and congratulates Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who has been confirmed as United States Ambassador to the United Nations. We look forward to working together with Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield across the United Nations to ensure quality, inclusive education for children and youth everywhere, right from the start.
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield joined the foreign service in 1982 and previously served as the Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Director General of the Foreign Service, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield's 35-year foreign service career includes an ambassadorship to Liberia and posts in Switzerland at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, Pakistan, Kenya, The Gambia, Nigeria, and Jamaica.
In the midst of global and national challenges, confirmed leadership to engage and lead global development and diplomacy is vital. We applaud President Biden and Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield for highlighting the importance of strong, inspiring leadership in the world and at the United Nations. We are pleased that President Biden stressed the importance of United States-led diplomacy and global engagement within the White House early in the government transition, reflecting the critical role of international development, humanitarian assistance, and global education.
Leaders from the international development, humanitarian, and education communities have come together to urge the Biden-Harris Administration to prioritize global education as a critical element in U.S. foreign policy. Now that Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield is confirmed, we recommend that the U.S. government strengthen bilateral efforts in international basic education and supporting multilateral organizations, including the following:
- Rejoin the United Nations Educational, Cultural, and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) as a full member and continue U.S. support for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), which both fund important education interventions for children and the forcibly displaced.
- Increase contributions and support a new multi-year pledge to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), which brings together ministries of education and public and private partners to build and sustain quality education, including supporting 355 million of the most vulnerable learners during COVID-19.
- Increase contributions to Education Cannot Wait (ECW), which supports education in emergencies with built-in agility and emergency design that allow for the quick deployment of resources, including an initial COVID-19 response across 35 countries to address the needs of refugees, displaced and at-risk children.
- Undertake efforts to further Sustainable Development Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable, quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, including by supporting measures to protect education from attack during armed conflict, and considering U.S. endorsement of the Safe Schools Declaration.
We congratulate Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield on this important confirmation, and we look forward to working together to ensure quality, inclusive education for students everywhere, right from the start.