This is our Spotlight Series.  We created this space to share stories about people who are making a positive difference in the lives of others through their work.  We’re celebrating artists, activists, filmmakers, physicians, teachers and writers to name a few. We’re very excited to highlight individuals whose personal journey and professional guidance serve to inspire, empower, educate and elevate humankind.  We hope you’ll enjoy and share with others!



Meet Ambassador Harriet Lee Elam-Thomas.  On June 27, 2018, SLPR will produce an event to launch, “Civility Strategies:  Healing Approaches that Unite People & Strengthen Democracya series of solution-driven talks based on Ambassador Elam-Thomas’s life and expertise.  The Ambassador has been a Terrie Williams Agency client since the launch of her memoir: “Diversifying Diplomacy: My Journey From Roxbury To Dakar” 

In September 2005, Ambassador Harriet Lee Elam-Thomas retired from the U.S. Senior Foreign Service with the rank of career minister.  During her four-decade Foreign Service career, she demonstrated a remarkable dedication to the practice of bridging cultures. With unique vision and insight, Ambassador Elam-Thomas placed a human face on diplomacy. Her varied overseas assignments have taken her to Greece, Turkey, France, Belgium, Senegal, Mali and Cote d’Ivoire. Domestic assignments included counselor (the most senior career position) and acting deputy director of the U.S. Information Agency (now a part of the Department of State), as well as serving as foreign service personnel in Washington, the United Nations and the White House. Ambassador Elam-Thomas fulfilled her commitment to serve the national interest through public diplomacy during her overseas tours in France, Senegal, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Greece, Turkey and Belgium. She returned to Africa to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Senegal from January 2000 to December 2002.

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.  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:  Bridging Cultural Gaps with Music, Dance and Theatre ♦ Great Leaders are Great Listeners ♦ Humility, Civility and Integrity ♦ The Importance of Authenticity ♦ The Art of Listening and more.


From afar, I admired Terrie Williams long before we met.  Back then, I knew nothing of her incredible sense of humor.  My perception of her while wearing her badass PR gear, was all business–a laser focused mind a woman frank as hell.  Like many others, I was in awe of her accomplishments.  But, it was her love and dedication for young people that inspired me to reach out across the sea with an invitation to speak at one of my events in the USVI.  I didn’t realize it then, but that visit would be the start of our 15 year friendship.  I’ll never forget my move back to New York, my spirits were pretty low.  It’s Terrie who helped me regain footing, many times going out of her way to break through my natural tendency to resist help.  Turns out we both had trust issues to overcome.  We bumped heads frequently, still Terrie and I never gave up on each other.  We’re from two entirely different worlds,  it took time to accept one another, warts and all.   I’m grateful to have learned  about this business from the Queen of PR.  More importantly, I’m forever grateful that she boarded a plane, flew to an island where a sisterhood bond was born, never to be broken and our love of laughter continues.