We take great pride in introducing you to Ambassador Harriet Lee Elam-Thomas, director of the University of Central Florida Diplomacy Program and author of Diversifying Diplomacy: My Journey From Roxbury to Dakar.  Elam-Thomas’  stellar career with the U.S. Department of America’s Foreign Service spanned forty-two years, during which time President Bill Clinton appointed her to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to Senegal.

As a speaker, Elam-Thomas enthralls audiences each time she steps onto a stage. She is the epitome of grace, a quiet storm whose powerful messages are delivered with great optimism and truth, her words are informative, strategic and inspirational.

Elam-Thomas, the youngest daughter of two very determined working class parents, grew up in one of Boston’s poorest neighborhoods. During the harsh realities of her youth, she became painfully shy, overweight and insecure. Yet, the little Elam girl, as she was called as a child, fought back by refusing to allow lack of resources, racism, or sexism to poison her soul or limit her potential.

Ambassador Elam-Thomas speaks three languages. On world stages she delivered speeches in French, Greek and Turkish, having learned the latter at the age of 47.  She’s spoken at numerous venues across the U.S. and offers customized talks focused around a broad range of categories such as: Women Lifting Our Voices to Move Society Forward  Cultural Competence & Diversity in Foreign Affairs  Bridging Cultural Gaps with Music, Dance and Theatre The Power of Building Genuine Relationships  Great Leaders are Great Listeners  Humility, Civility and Integrity  The Importance of Authenticity  Diplomacy is the Cornerstone of Peace  The Last Three Feet—Face-to-Face Communication Across Cultures  The Art of Listening  Life After Layoffs & Retirement–A Perfect Time to Shine Your Light.

Ambassador Elam-Thomas talks the talk, because she’s walked the walk.  She is one of those rare human beings whose greeting immediately fills one with a sense of confidence that they matter. Not everyone is in need of such affirmation of self-worth, but those who do, as well as those who don’t, will benefit greatly from hearing her speak. Especially now when civil discourse and kindness are less common occurrences in our society. 

The combination of Elam-Thomas’ warm smile and unflinching gaze into the eyes of those she meets, speak volumes about her spirit and deeply-rooted belief in establishing a genuine connection with the person standing in front of her. The moment is intentional, and it is pure.

See full bio here. 

For all public speaking and media inquiries, please call Madeline McCray-Matz at 917/557-2388, or send an email to: [email protected]

We thank your for considering this highly sought after “Hidden Figure” in U.S. Diplomacy and look forward to working with you in the future.  The Ambassador’s lifetime of experience and her message will blow your audience away!