Ambassador Harriet Elam-Thomas directs a rapidly growing global initiative at the University of Central Florida, the Diplomacy Program, which features education and training for undergraduate students. From 2003-2005, she served as Diplomat in Residence at UCF under the auspices of a national U.S. Department of State program. In that capacity, she was the U.S. Department of State’s official liaison in Central Florida, conducting workshops, providing information on careers, connecting students to internship and scholarship opportunities, and speaking on policy matters. Until the fall of 2005, she was a Senior Foreign Service Officer with the rank of Career Minister. Previously she served as U.S. Ambassador to Senegal from 1999-2003; Chief of Mission to Guinea-Bissau; Acting Director of USIA; Cultural Attaché at the American Embassy in 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. 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. In 2007, she received the Director General’s Cup of the U.S. Department of State. She 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. Amb. Elam-Thomas is partly sponsored by the Global Connections Foundation.
In the News
Addressing Antisemitism and Recent Events in the Caribbean
UCF Student Government address recent antisemitism and antisemitic hate crimes throughout the nation, events in Cuba and Haiti, and support resources for students.
UCF Pioneer in Remote Learning Had an ‘Unmatched Optimism for the Work’
Alumna Barbara Truman, who helped pave the way for the university’s online success, died July 17.
UCF Researcher Identifies Models For Healthy Aging
Su-I Hou, professor and founding director of UCF’s School of Global Health Management and Informatics, identified models of how older adults can best “age in community.”
Disagreement May Be a Way to Make Online Content Spread Faster, Further
The finding comes from an examination of posts labeled controversial on social news aggregation site Reddit.
Presidential Rankings are a Game — not History
Surveys lead people to focus on small differences between presidents rather than the major challenges of their times.
Jonathan Varnell Named VP for Facilities and Business Operations
Varnell, who has nearly 25 years of experience in higher education, was selected following a competitive national search.
Everything You Need to Know About UCF Transportation and Parking
As UCF returns to pre-pandemic operations, here’s a comprehensive guide for traveling to, from, and around campus.
UCF Student Awarded Prestigious AMA Scholarship
Fourth-year medical student Xamil Vega is the second student from the College of Medicine to receive the scholarship.
7 Knights Heading to Tokyo’s Summer Olympics, Paralympics
From beach volleyball to weightlifting, meet the Olympic participants who will represent UCF in addition to their home countries.