H.E. Marjon V. Kamara, Foreign Minister, Republic of Liberia

Her Excellency Madam Marjon V. Kamara, Foreign Minister, Republic of Liberia

Her Excellency Madam Marjon V. Kamara, Foreign Minister, Republic of Liberia

Ms Marjon Kaara
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Republic of Liberia

PROFESSIONAL PROFILE

  • Over 25 years of progressive experience in Government, international relations, humanitarian affairs, with emphasis on policy, strategy, programme development, emergency coordination and hands-on management of multifaceted support to in conflict and post-conflict situations, predominantly in Africa.

  • Solid knowledge of different components of peace-building: conflict resolution and peace processes, UN peacekeeping and integrated missions, return and reintegration of conflict affected populations, reconciliation and community recovery, the relief to development continuum. Mandate and operations of the UN Peacebuilding Commission including its six country-specific configurations.

  • Well developed strategic management abilities, sharp critical analytical skills with orientation towards efficient performance for the achievement of set goals and objectives, supported by strong team-building and multi-cultural inter-personal skills.

  • Substantial practical experience in applying strategies for the advancement of women, prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence, protection of the rights of children and promotion of humanitarian principles of neutrality, integrity and impartiality.

  • Well developed negotiation and communication skills with proven ability to maintain constructive engagement, at various levels, with interlocutors within Governments, UN agencies, regional and sub-regional organizations, non-governmental organizations, conflict affected populations and civil society.

  • Insightful overview of key issues on the global agenda as well as the principal concerns of Africa, through over 6.5 years of active participation in the work of the United Nations and it organs representative of the Government of Liberia

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

GOVERNMENT OF LIBERIA

January 2016 : Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia

September 2009 to December 2015: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and

Permanent Representative of the Republic of Liberia to

the United Nations and Ambassador-Designate to the

Republic of Cuba.

June to August 2009 : Preparatory formalities for appointment to Ambassadorial

position.

MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Elevating the international profile of Liberia through more active participation in the work of the United Nations and having membership in its organs or subsidiary bodies for the purpose of promoting issues of high priority to Liberia,.

  • Strengthening bilateral relations and developing partnerships when opportunities arise.

MAIN ACHIEVEMENTS:

  • Placed Liberia on the agenda of the Peacebuilding Commission, in view of its post-conflict status and remained actively engaged in the work of the Liberia Configuration and other related activities of the Commission (2010 to Present), through which Liberia has benefited from valuable assistance in its defined priorities areas, including restoration of rule of law, basic services and national reconciliation.

  • Served as member of the Secretary-General’s Advisory Group for the Review of International Civilian Capacities (2010), which enabled Liberia to pilot the project and secure support for building civilian capacities.

  • Promoted Liberia’s tangible re-engagement in the work of the UN by securing membership for Liberia on five Executive Boards of UN agencies and Commissions (subsidiary bodies of the General Assembly) including the Chairmanship of the Commission on the Status of Women (2011-2012). Liberia’s membership on an additional four Boards, including UN Women and World Food Programme and Commissions will be activated in 2016. All of these provided opportunities for learning for Government Officials and for the Liberian Government to frame policies in the various sectors that meet international standards.

  • Served as a Vice President of the 66th session of the General Assembly (2010-2011), and thereby brought visibility to Liberia and to women leadership.

  • Steered the engagement of the Mission in the work of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda due to the Co-Chairmanship of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia (2012 – 2013).

  • Chaired the Africa Union’s High-Level Committee on the Post-2015 Development Committee at Ambassadorial level in New York (2014 – Present), including Chairmanship of the African Negotiating Team.

  • Served as Co-Facilitator of the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (2014).

  • Served moderator of a number of events including Panel discussion on various topics such as: the fineline of peace; decent work for all.

  • Ensured Liberia’s active participation in relevant group in New York such as: G77 and China Least Developed Countries (member as Coordinative Bureau 2012 – 2015, G77 group of fragile states, and non-aligned movement.

UNITED NATIONS EMPLOYMENT October 1983 to May 2009

October 2005 to May 2009: Director, Regional Bureau for Africa, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland (D2)

MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Principal advisor to the High Commissioner for Refugees on UNHCR’s operations in Africa;

  • Define strategic direction for UNHCR’s work in Africa: establish regional objectives, performance targets and the corresponding resource requirements;

  • Provide guidance and support to field Representatives in Africa on all matters – administrative programmatic and operational;

  • Support resource mobilization involving advocacy for refugees and internally displaced populations in Africa, nurturing partnerships with regional and sub-regional organizations, governments, non-governmental and civil society organizations in support of operations in Africa; representing UNHCR at various international fora.

  • Contribute to the formulation of global policies affecting the strategic direction of the Organization;

July 2001 to October 2005: Director, Division of Operational Support, UNHCR Headquarters, Geneva (D1/D2)

MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Provide overall supervision of the organizational function of setting standards relative to the type, quality and quantity of material assistance to be provided to the refugees.

  • Manage and ensure efficient use of the technical expertise of the Organization in the key sectors of health, nutrition, education, shelter, water, sanitation, HIV/AIDS, environment, reintegration and programme management;

  • Represent UNHCR at relevant UN Programme related forums

April 1998 to June 2001: Representative of UNHCR in the United Republic of Tanzania (D1)

MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Provide overall supervision, direction, policy guidance and oversight of all UNHCR operations in Tanzania (then the largest in Africa covering six offices manned by 200 staff, serving a refuge population exceeding 500,00 persons and with a budget of USD 30 million;

  • Participate actively in and contribute constructively to the work of the UN Country Team of Tanzania

September 1994 to March 1998: Representative of UNHCR, in the Republic of Angola(P.5)

MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Provide overall supervision, direction, policy guidance and oversight of all UNHCR operations in Angola, (at that time covering eight offices, 150 staff serving some 11,000 refugees and a projected population of 300,000 returnees);

Prepare and implement a comprehensive operational plan for the return and reintegration of some 300,000 Angolan refugees from neighbouring countries (Zambia, DRC-then Zaire, Republic of Congo and Namibia), including establishment of office and residential premises in various provinces in Angola;

  • Participate actively in and contribute to the work of the UN Country Team, maintaining liaison with the UN Peacekeeping Mission (UNAVEM) and promoting joint actions in support of the returnee programme.

October 1990 to August 1994: Senior Administrative Officer, Regional Bureau for Africa, UNHCR Headquarters, Geneva

MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Principal advisor to the Director of the Bureau on administrative matters, including preparation of the Bureau’s annual budget and staffing submissions, recommendations for recruitment/posting and promotion of staff

  • Serve as Executive Assistant to the Director, preparing correspondence and providing support on policy matters and related issues.

October 1989 to October 1990: Acting Representative and Deputy Representative of UNHCR, in the Republic of Uganda

MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Provide overall supervision, direction, policy guidance and oversight of all UNHCR operations in Uganda (then covering four offices, 90 staff, serving 34,000 refugees and 250,000 returnees).

May 1988 to September 1989: Deputy Representative, UNHCR Branch Office, Kampala, Uganda

MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Supervise protection function of the office, involving conducting interviews to determine refugee status, and participation in meetings of the Refugee Eligibility Committee.

January 1987 to April 1988: Programme Officer, UNHCR Branch Office, Kampala, Uganda

MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Provide technical programme management support to the repatriation and reintegration operation for Ugandan returnees in northwestern Uganda as well as assistance operations for a protracted situation of some 30,000 Rwandese refugees hosted in eight settlements in Southwestern Uganda;

  • Prepare plans for multi-sectoral support under the returnee and refugee operations: negotiate sectoral requirements and sub-agreements with various NGO implementing partners; monitor implementation and prepare year end narrative and financial reports;

  • Negotiate contracts for the procurement and transportation of goods and supplies.

July to December 1986: Emergency Coordinator (on mission status) at UNHCR Branch Office, Kampala, Uganda

MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Coordinate UNHCR’s response, comprising multifaceted assistance in an emergency situation precipitated by the involuntary return of Ugandan refugees from Southern Sudan;

  • Maintain constructive engagement with Government counterparts to facilitate transportation of food and other relief goods to return areas in northwestern Uganda, and to provide security to staff and along transport routes;

  • Negotiate contracts for procurement of goods and services. Transportation of supplies; and

  • Prepare plan of action for transition from emergency to a normal organized repatriation and reintegration operation.

October 1983 to June 1986: Associate Programme Officer, UNHCR Branch Office, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Assist the Deputy Representative in the management of operations benefiting Ethiopian returnees in Hararghe Region.

  • Prepare sub-agreements and other programming instruments as well as reports on the operation.

1980 – 1983: Undertook various short-term employment with business enterprises in New York, USA

THE GOVERNMENT OF LIBERIA, MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, MONROVIA

-SEPTEMBER 1974 TO 1980

December 1977 to July 1980: Assistant Minister/Special Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Prepared speeches, policy statements and correspondence

  • Drafted Presidential letters to other Heads of State on various issues

  • Attended and prepared records of all substantive meetings held by the Minister in Monrovia with Ambassadors and visiting Delegations, as well as abroad with various counterparts and other dignitaries.

  • Served as member of Presidential and Ministerial Delegations on official visits to several countries, including the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the then Federal Republic of Germany, the then German Democratic Republic, Republic of Korea, Popular and Democratic Republic of Algeria and the Kingdom of Morocco.

  • Served as member of Ministerial and Presidential Delegations to numerous regional and international meetings: (i) the then Organization of African Unity – four ministerial meetings in Tripoli (1978), Khartoum (1978), Nairobi (1978) and Addis Ababa (1980 and two Summit meetings in Libreville and Khartoum, respectively (1978); (ii) Four Ministerial meetings of the Non-aligned Countries Movement in Havana and Belgrade (1978) and Maputo and Havana (1979).

August 1976 to November 1977: Director, Bureau of African and Asian Affairs

MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Supervised all activities of the Bureau, which included preparation of statements on specific issues pertinent to Africa and Asia; drafting speeches and special messages for various special occasions such as the anniversary of independence or national days.

  • Prepared briefing documents on an array of topics pertinent to Africa and Asia.

  • Prepared dossier on agenda items of various meetings on Africa to facilitate effective participation of Government Delegations.

  • Served as member of Ministerial Delegations to various meetings, notably OAU meetings in Lome and Libreville (1977); Non-aligned Countries Movement Meetings in Algiers (1976) and New Delhi (1977) and Joint OAU/Arab League Meeting in Cairo (1979).

  • Liaised with African and Asian Diplomatic missions resident in Monrovia.

September 1974 to July 1976: Research Officer, Bureau of African and Asian Affairs

MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Undertook research on various issues and prepared analytical reports on current development.

  • Attended and took record of meetings held with visiting Delegations from Africa and Asia.

EDUCATION

July 1973 : Master of .Arts (MA) Degree in Political Science

(with emphasis on International Relations)

Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

(Master’s Thesis: The UN Capital Development Fund: Rich and

Poor Nations on Collision, published by New Issues Press,

Institute of Public Affairs, Western Michigan University)

December 1970 Bachelor of Arts Degree (BA) in Political Science (with emphasis on International Relations), Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, U.S.A.

December 1966 : High School Diploma

St. Theresa’s Convent

Monrovia, Liberia

PERSONAL DATA

Place of Birth : Monrovia, Liberia

Nationality : Liberian

Civil Status: Single

PARIS JOURNAL MAGAZINE