Remarks by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield at the World Telecommunication Development Conference

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
June 7, 2022


Hello everyone, my name is Linda Thomas-Greenfield, and I am the Ambassador of the United States to the United Nations.

As you gather tonight at the start of the World Telecommunication Development Conference, I’m delighted to send my strong and heartfelt endorsement for the campaign of Doreen Bogdan-Martin to become the next Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union.

Distinguished guests, this is an important occasion. This marks the first time that this conference has been hosted in Africa, and it is fitting that Kigali was selected to host it.

I have spent much of my career in Africa – from serving in Nigeria, Kenya, and the Gambia, to serving as Ambassador to Liberia, and then later as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

My experience in the Foreign Service also included being in Rwanda at the start of the genocide when I worked as a regional refugee coordinator. Decades later, it is remarkable to reflect now on all that has changed here in Rwanda, particularly your transformation into a regional leader in information technology.

Rwanda’s investment in promoting the technology and communication sectors has stimulated entrepreneurial creativity and expanded access to broadband and digital public services.

Closing the digital divide and expanding connectivity for all is our shared goal. And this is the work that Doreen Bogdan-Martin has committed herself to for nearly 30 years at the ITU.

As Director of the ITU’s Development Bureau, Doreen has championed new initiatives to close connectivity gaps across Africa and around the world, in urban and rural areas, so that everyone – especially youth, women and girls – has the digital tools they need to succeed.

She’s involved in critical projects that make the digital future more inclusive and sustainable for all, while also supporting the Sustainable Development Goals. And as part of these efforts, Doreen has brokered dozens of partnerships with the private sector, development banks, and donor agencies to marshal resources for the ITU’s development efforts.

Her work and that of the strong team she has built will bring us closer together and ensure opportunity is available to all. The stakes will be high for all of us on Election Day. The outcome will affect everyone, every day.

Fortunately, no one has delivered more results for the ITU than Doreen.

She has nearly three decades of experience in leadership and expert roles in the ITU. She has the extensive background and expertise needed to lead the ITU effectively. And she has the respect of the ITU community.

There is no question that Doreen is the most qualified candidate for the job, and all of us with the U.S. government are committed to this election and proud to support her.

I wish you all the best from New York for a successful World Telecommunication Development Conference. I hope we can count on your support for Doreen on September 29 in Bucharest, Romania. Thank you.