Veteran US diplomat to speak on engaging the new Administration at Caribbean Biz Expo

ORLANDO – Strategies for successfully engaging the United States Administration of President Barack Obama will be the focus of the address to be delivered by veteran US diplomat Ambassador Harriet L. Elam Thomas at a special luncheon here on Thursday, June 11 at 1:00 pm. at the Fourth Annual Caribbean American Business Expo and Conference.

Ambassador Thomas, who has served in the US Foreign Service for four decades, has held several key positions in Washington, DC and around the world.

Previously she served as U.S. Ambassador to Senegal from 1999-2003; Chief of Mission to Guinea-Bissau; Acting Director of USIA; Cultural Attache, American Embassy, 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.

Harriet L. Elam Thomas

A career foreign service officer, 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.

Ambassador Elam-Thomas 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.

“As Caribbean nations seek to develop more meaningful relations with the US Administration of President Barack Obama it is important that they understand the thinking and methodology of this new Administration and its perspective on the role of the Diaspora in helping to forge closer and mutually beneficial ties. Ambassador Thomas has been invited to give some insight into what strategies might best be employed in pursuit of these objectives,” says Wesley Kirton, executive chairman of the Caribbean American Business Expo and Conference.

In the words of Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson ”we have witnessed the election of a president of transformational potential who has created a movement for change that has spread a new mood of optimism far beyond America’s shores”. It is against this backdrop, Kirton says, that the veteran US diplomat has been invited to share some perspectives about how best to engage the new Administration.

This luncheon is being sponsored by Caribbean Supercenter Supermarket, a Caribbean American owned 30,000 square foot supermarket in Orlando which carries products from throughout the Caribbean region.

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