SUNY Broome alumna becomes U.S. ambassador

SUNY Broome alumna Linda Swartz Taglialatela began the next chapter in her career on February 1, when she presented her credentials to Sir Elliott Belgrave, Governor-General of Barbados.

The Vestal native is now the U.S. ambassador to the island nation. She was nominated by president Barack Obama late last year, followed by a U.S. Senate confirmation in December. Not just limited to Barbados, the Vestal High School graduate also will have responsibilities for a range of Caribbean islands, including the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

She earned an Associates of Arts in 1969 from what was then called Broome Technical Community College, followed by a bachelor’s in economics from SUNY Oneonta and a MBA from Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

“During her 36 years of service to the Department, Ms. Taglialatela has amassed an outstanding record of performance, leadership, and accomplishments,” the U.S. Department of State wrote in a November 2015 memo.

She began her career in 1973 as a management analyst with the Government Accountability Office, where she focused on federal personnel and compensation reviews. After transferring to the international audit group, she became interested in the State Department and joined the Foreign Service in 1979. Working for the Office of the Inspector General, she inspected 45 embassies and consulates, and also served as Special Assistant to the Inspector General, where she focused on strategic planning, congressional affairs and interagency coordination.

Following several assignments, including a tour as the Management Counselor at the United States Embassy in Bern, Switzerland, she returned to Washington, where she served as deputy director and then director of the Office of Resource Management and Organization Analysis in the Bureau of Human Resources.

During the course of her career, Taglialatela has received numerous awards. In 2004 and 2014 she was the recipient of a Meritorious Presidential Rank Award, and in 2008 she received the Distinguished Presidential Rank Award.  She has been a sponsor and mentor to countless Foreign Service Officers and Civil Service employees during the course of her career, according to the Department of State.

“Excelling at resource management, goal setting, delivering results and team building, she is a proven senior leader with the right combination of problem-solving, creativity, and interpersonal skills that will serve her well as Chief of Mission both inside and outside the Mission in Bridgetown,” the State Department said in its report.

Linda S. Taglialatela, Chief of the U.S. Mission to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean and the OECS. Photo by the U.S. Department of State.

Linda S. Taglialatela, Chief of the U.S. Mission to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean and the OECS. Photo by the U.S. Department of State.