Today, the Foreign Service Retirees Association of Florida held its bi-monthly meeting at Lakeland, Florida. After an hour-long meeting of the Board of Advisors, of which I am a member, the association had a speaker for the luncheon in the person of United States Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who serves as the Assistant Secretary for African Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. The Ambassador spoke authoritatively and knowledgeably about the sub-Saharan states of Africa. Formerly, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield served as the Director General of the U.S. Foreign Service and as the Director of Human Resources of the State Department, leading a team of approximately 400 employees who handled the full range of personnel functions for the State Department’s 70,000-strong workforce – from recruitment and hiring to evaluations, promotions and retirement. Her talk inspired hope for the future of improved U.S. relationships throughout the African continent.