Ellen Johnson-SIRLEAF 1970/1971 HKS Edward S. MASON Fellow MC/MPA degree
By Sarr Abdulai VANDI, Ph.D. | Sarr.Vandi@Gmail.Com
The Mysterious and Spectacular Harvard Kennedy School MC/MPA Degree: Unmasking a Tyrant and a Plutocrat.
Obtaining an MC/MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, has become a coveted enterprise in the Ellen Johnson-SIRLEAF administration. The Mysterious and Spectacular Harvard Kennedy School MC/MPA degree in the Edward Sagendorph MASON Program has become a passport to spectacular and lucrative executive portfolios and presidential cabinet preferment in the administration(s) of President Ellen Johnson-SIRLEAF. The Liberian president and chief of the state is the program’s most fêted and celebrated alumnae.
A full-length portrait of the Liberian leader was unveiled at the Harvard Kennedy School recently. The unveiling of the portrait, which will hang in the HKS Library, took place on Thursday, 15 May 2014 at the University of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The ceremony coincided with the opening plenary of the John F Kennedy Jr IDEASpHERE Forum where, Madame SIRLEAF, together with the former President of Mexico, and HKS visiting distinguished fellow Felipe CALDERON, participated in the discussion of “Leaders on Leadership” before HKS students and invited guests.
Even so, Richard Adawole ELLIS, a Liberian-American graphics artist, and painter, bitterly protested in a popular Liberian chat room in Facebook social media that the pomp and ceremony surrounding “the HKS portrait is an asinine charade whitewashing the corruptness”, and dull leadership by the Liberian leader of the Liberia nation and people.
The midcareer-master of public administration (MC/MPA) certificate; an eight (8.00) credit hours program restricted to citizens or nationals, preferably in positions of senior executive servants (SES) and public service administrators and managers in developing countries and countries in transition from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Mideast, Central and Eastern Europe, respectively. Citizens from the west and nationals from developed economies and proper democracies are exempt and forbidden.
The Edward S. MASON program in the HKS does not belong to the Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The admissions requirements, curricular activities, and degree and/or certificate and graduation criteria are distinct and separate, and there continues to be controversy and suspicion amongst some university faculty and administration surrounding the program’s threat and weakening the academic standard and intellectual strength and reach of Harvard.
The six-nine months Cambridge residency and study circle were a prelude to an unprecedented singular appointment of one Amara Mohamed KONNEH to two of the most important cabinet portfolios in the Republic; Minister of Finance (MoF) and Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs (MPEA), respectively. Mr. KONNEH was Deputy Chief of Staff to the President in 2006 when she recommended and sponsored him for the study program and a one-year sabbatical for the 2007/2008 academic year.
Mr. KONNEH has no prior experience in fields either of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs nor the Ministry of Finance, respectively. Moreover, he is neither a trained economist nor a financial specialist. He masquerades as an information technologist (IT) without a demonstrable record of accomplishment and professional performance. Any good typist can operate the Microsoft Word operating system, with a little practice and keen observation.
Amara was junior analyst and data entry operator at the Vanguard Group Inc., outside the American ancient city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His performance at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has been wretched, enigmatic, and inconsequential. The golden boy super minister is surrounded by street-smart aides and tough-talking deputy ministers, whose qualifications and professional experiences are questionable and suspicious at best; and whose academic credentials and degrees are obtained from inferior and uncertified online universities.
The clueless and miserable legislature has combined the two ministries at the urging of Dr. Amos Claudius SAWYER, Chairman of the Governance Commission (GC) or more correctly self-anointed co-president of the Republic. The nomenclature of the new super ministry is Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.
Professor Ahmed MOHIDIN noted Kenyan academic and activist, and this writer was contracted by UNDESA (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs) to research and write a draft national framework document on Good Governance in Liberia. The document was vetted and validated in a national consultative meeting on 2 May 2000, co-chaired by Dr. SAWYER. Professor MOHIDIN and I interviewed Dr. SAWYER as a significant national stakeholder and recommended him to co-chair the validation session.
The framework document gave birth to the Governance Commission (GC) established in the 2003 Accra Comprehensive Peace Accord (ACP). Madame Ellen Johnson-SIRLEAF was initial chairperson appointed by His Excellency the late Charles Gyude BRYANT, Chairman and Head of State, National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL), at his inauguration on 15 October 2003. http://mirror.undp.org/liberia/govlr.PDF
Dr. Amos Claudius SAWYER succeeded President Ellen Johnson-SIRLEAF in 2006 as chairman and head of the Governance Reform Commission. In September 2007 the Government of Liberia established through legislation the Governance Commission (GC) and mandated it to, amongst other tasks, undertake the following: (1) Promote good governance by advising, designing, and formulating appropriate policies and institutional arrangements and framework for achieving good governance and (2) Promote reforms, efficiency, and transparency in the Liberian Public Sector by recommending the rationalization of institutional mandates and structures: coordinate capacity building initiatives, and the development of appropriately designed merit-based system.
The once presidential ambitious and the two-faced professor has since commandeered and personalized the Governance Commission (GC) and recruited his aging friends and supporters of his decadence Movement for Justice in Africa (MOJA) outfit, and the defunct Liberia Peoples Party (LPP). The Governance Commission (GC) has been transformed into a powerful and parallel infrastructure of the Executive Branch with irrefutably co-presidential powers and officious authority.
President Ellen SIRLEAF has recently nominated Professor Amos Claudius SAWYER and two other Liberian candidates, Ambassador William Vacanarat Shadrach BULL, and former Minister of Foreign Affairs Olubanke King-AKERELE for the UN assistant secretary-general position reserved for Liberia, and/or at the urging of UN secretary general Ban Ki MOON.
The Harvard Kennedy School – Liberia Connection Ellen Johnson-SIRLEAF 1970/1971 HKS Edward S MASON Fellow | MC/MPA degree
The Liberian President pioneered the HKS endeavor in the early 1970s, when she was awarded a token noncompetitive Edward Sagendorph MASON fellowship in 1971 to study at the newly chartered JFK School of Government at Harvard University, on the recommendation of an American adviser and academic assigned to the Government of Liberia in the former Department of Treasury. She was an entry midlevel civil servant with an associate degree in accounting from an inferior community college in a torn down ghetto area in Madison, Wisconsin. Nonetheless, President Ellen SIRLEAF has a sound mind with perceptive talents. She is extremely gifted, and a finance and economics savoir-faire. She maintains a coterie network of personal and professional contacts of international repute, with global reach and geopolitical footprint.
In June 2013, another of Madam SIRLEAF’S inner-circle and kitchen cabinet, and personal aide during her exile years in Abidjan was showered with praises and accolades taking the identical HKS token route of her two famous predecessors.
Now a Mason Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, Elva RICHARDSON is the deputy minister for administration in the non-vetting and non-senate confirming portfolio of the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs, a similar position occupied by Amara KONNEH in 2006 but with public affairs attached title. She graduates this June 2014. Her sponsor, the President of Liberia was expected to grace the occasion, much the same way as she did in 2008 when Amara KONNEH was conferred similar and identical MC/MPA degree.
The Régime of Aficionados, the Corrupt, and the Incompetent
Appointments of incompetents and misplacements of cronies by Madame President proliferates and unscrupulously. Ninety-five (95) percent of high and powerful Liberian government officials in the two Unity Party administrations are incompetent, unqualified or misplaced. Some recycled after a dismal record of performance and poor record of accomplishment in other portfolios. It is the régime of the corrupt and the incompetent.
Except for some who are highly qualified, competent and experienced, with fine records of accomplishments, many of the functionaries in the Unity Party administrations and government are functional illiterates. They might be street-smart, talkative and smooth operators, but neither can hardly read nor write properly.
Mr. Harry YUAN et al at the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) is a prime example. After a long and miserable tenure at the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), the man is rewarded with a lucrative $12K per month appointment at the LTA, only because he is and remains a “loyal rebel associate, co-agitator, and co-conspirator of Madame President of the tragic and catastrophic 15 November 1985 QUIWONKPAH military debacle.”
The board at the LTA in the Unity Party administration has no prior telecommunications and ICTs regulatory qualification and experience, and the draft World Bank legislation for the 2007 Telecommunications Act was downgraded and reduced to mediocrity only to accommodate Madame President’s greed, control, and personalization of the sector and industry.
Benjamin WOLO Managing Director, LIBTELCO, the 2007 Telecommunications Act was downgraded to accommodate him. He is a close friend of Madame SIRLEAF’s physician son Adama SIRLEAF. He once bid to take-over LTC in 2003-2004 but was rejected for incompetence and lack of funds. LIBTELCO continues to obtain operation and maintenance subsidy from the GoL even in today’s lucrative and prosperous Liberia domestic telecommunications and ICT industry.
Designating and legalizing LIBTELCO as a national operator in the 2007 Telecommunications Act was an anomaly and against the World Bank’s recommendations to the GoL, and as contained in the Bank’s drafts 2007 Telecommunications Act. About ninety percent of the world’s nation-state countries have done away with the national telecoms operator syndrome and privatized their respective state enterprises in the mid-1980s.
According to Thomas WOEWEIYU, Madame Jonson-SIRLEAF was personally supporting Harry YUAN in the rapid re-recruitment of his fellow Nimbaians and Clarence Lorenzo SIMPSON Jr was supporting Moses DUOPU, the late Counselor GBAYDIAH, and others in the Ivory Coast to launch another armed attack on the DOE Regime following the botched 1985 B/Gen Thomas QUIWONKPA coup.
Benjamin WOLO is one of several of Madame President’s Liberian senior executive briefcase importers. He temporarily resides in a tiny Monrovia hotel room in Tubman Boulevard since March 2006 with a monthly salary of US$12K plus. His family remains in a bungalow in wealthy and upscale Reston Virginia, outside Washington DC where he wires his inflated and undeserved salary and perks to pay off his mortgage and support his family in comfort and luxury.
The clandestine rebranding of Comium (Liberia) GSM company, now Novafone Liberia, and partially owned by the ABI-JOUDI brothers fronting for the first family is suspicious and requires public scrutiny. Furthermore, Mohammed and Khaled ABI-JOUDI have no successful record of accomplishment of neither owning nor efficiently operating a telecommunications network and industry, anywhere else. Moreover, there seems no record of this sudden and hostile takeover on the LTA website, and request for sector information and industry transactions remain unsuccessful.
Novafone is a United Arab Emirates (UAE) owned and financed Telecommunications Company with VoIP as its signature operating platform. The Novafone Network claims a highly efficient Voice over IP infrastructure (VoIP) and extensive T1 agreements and/or carriers of international voice traffic, operating in the Mideast and North Africa. Novafone became a wholesale registered company under the laws of the national carriers of the UAE, Dubai in 2012. However, the Novafone-Comium acquired operations in Sierra Leone, Gambia, and the Côte d’Ivoiré appear unprofitable and may close all three operations and shutdown. Thus, the Liberian operation is suspicious, questionable, and risky.
Angelique WEEKS, reappointed LTA board chair, earning US$15K+ per month for additional four years; she was co-partner with Albert BROPLEH of Arwen Communications, a bogus Connecticut, U.S. based telecommunications firm that bid for this identical ongoing Liberia telecommunications and ICTs/ICT4D reforms consultancy with the World Bank Group in 2003/2004, but was disqualified and rejected for incompetence. Subsequently and/or ironically, Albert BROPLEH was appointed LTA chair by President SIRLEAF in late 2007, and afterward dismissed and convicted for corruption in 2009. Recent media reports allege that the President has requested the Senate to vote no confidence in Madam WEEKS, and strip her of her portfolio and tenure.
The WEEKS enjoy preferential treatment and confidence of Madame President. The brother, sister, and cousin presently hold very lucrative and powerful positions in the administration, even though their competence, qualification, experience and job performances are questionable and unproductive.
The New Democrat on Wednesday 23 May 2012, reported this charted Lear Jet by Ms. Angelique WEEKS, which flew her mother from Monrovia to London for medical attention.
Reports of improprieties and other spending sprees at the LTA by FPA and other media outlets abound without Executive Action. In addition, and despite the General Auditing Commission’s (GAC) Friday 23 August 2013 report of unauthorized budgetary transactions and other massive financial transgressions, three of the five incumbent commissioners, Henry BENSON, Harry YUAN, and Angelique WEEKS were reappointed by the president in September 2013, along with two new commissioners; Bayogar Anthony McCRITTY, and Mariam KABA. All five commissioners have been confirmed by the obsequious and compliant Senate, after initially rejecting Angelique WEEKS.
Anthony Bayogar McCRITTY, unfit and incompetent, whose patron and the sponsor are Medina-Shepherd WESSEH personal aide and confidante of Madame President. He feigns as a telecommunications and ICT specialist, with bogus, synthetic, and unproven credentials and experience. He is believed to be a data entry clerk with three months trained Information Technology (IT) CISCO certificate.
The poor and discriminatory employment trend remains the signature recruitment and placement policy of the plutocrat and imperial president; despite her loaded and empty rhetorical declarations for good governance, diversity and representativeness, and meritocratic appointments in public service in the July 1997 special presidential election broadcast address to the nation, which this writer was a principal coauthor with Eugene PEABODY.
Both Eugene and I were core staff in the 1997 ELLEN for President Campaign. I essentially abandoned and risked my second stint Howard University Senior Fellow position to return home and campaign for the ingrate Ellen Johnson-SIRLEAF, when most of her present cronies and family were afraid and reluctant to accompany her in the campaign that was turbulent and extrapolated to be dangerous and inconsequential. Some of us campaign aides were abandoned and left stranded in Monrovia after a comprehensive and emphatic defeat by former President Charles Ghankay Taylor and his National Patriotic Party (NPP).
The military incursion by the National Patriotic Forces on that fateful 15 November 1985 engineered and precipitated the cruelest and most violent ethnic rift between our Gio, Mano, Mandingo, and Krahn compatriots that culminated into Liberia’s brutal and infamous civil war.
The civil war was the brainchild of the Association for Constitutional Democracy in Liberia (ACDL) minus some members. The ACDL was founded in 1990 in Washington DC, and managed by the capricious and shrewd political scientist Amos Claudius SAWYER. The carpetbagger and plutocrat Ellen Johnson SIRLEAF, was a founding member, a major sponsor, and financier. Professor SAWYER has earned the title of Liberia’s conflict and political TEFLON, untouchable and survivor of the country’s turbulent and belligerence environment since 1979.
Another founding member and former chairman of the ACDL board Jucontee Thomas WOEWIYU, aka Jucontee Thomas SMITH, 68, of Collingdale, was recently charged on Tuesday 13 May 2014, with seven counts of perjury, two counts of fraudulently attempting to obtain citizenship, four counts of fraud in immigration documents and three counts of false statements in relation to naturalization. If convicted, he faces a maximum possible sentence of 110 years in prison, a $4,000,000 fine, not more than three years supervised release and a $1,600 special assessment. He was denied bail at a court appearance on Friday 16 May 2014 and reprimanded in prison.
The indictment follows an investigation led by HSI Philadelphia and ICE’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC) with the assistance of the ICE Philadelphia Chief Counsel’s Office, the FBI and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
FrontPage Africa (FPA) reports that according to the indictment, WOEWIEYU was residing in the United States when he formed the Association for Constitutional Democracy in Liberia (ACDL) to advocate against the regime of Master Sergeant Samuel Kanyon DOE in Liberia. FPA quoted the indictment that WOEWIEYU helped form the NPFL, a military organization committed to the violent overthrow of the DOE government. The ACDL provided funding to the NPFL. In 1990, a splinter group captured and executed President DOE. The NPFL, however, persisted with a brutal campaign for control of the country. An attack in October 1992 by NPFL forces left scores of residents of Monrovia dead. According to the indictment, WOEWIEYU presided as NPFL minister of defense during a brutal military campaign during which perceived adversaries were tortured, civilians were executed, girls and women were raped and forced into sex slavery and humanitarian aid workers were murdered.
The indictment established the connection of Jucontee Thomas WOEWIEYU to the ACDL. Prominent members include President Ellen SIRLEAF and Dr. Amos Claudius SAWYER. Others are Dr. Patrick L.N. SEYON, former President of the University of Liberia, Ezekiel PAJIBO, former UL student activist, Dr. Momo Rogers, Director General of the Sirleaf Cabinet, Mr. Harry A GREAVES, former Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) and the late Mamadee WOAHTEE.
Furthermore, the indictment states that “while residing in the United States, defendant Jucontee Thomas WOEWIYU formed the Association for Constitutional Democracy in Liberia ACDL), an organization that advocated violence against and the overthrow of the Samuel Kanyon DOE regime. Defendant WOEWIYU, also along with its leader, Charles Taylor and others, founded the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), a military organization committed to the violent overthrow of the DOE government. The ACDL supported the NPFL and raised funds for the group.”
In her off the camera public testimony before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) on 12 February 2009, President Ellen SIRLEAF said she met Charles TAYLOR for the first time in Paris in 1987.
That she was a founding member of the Association for Constitutional Democracy in Liberia (ACDL); a group that believed an armed rebellion against Samuel Doe’s government was necessary.
She delivered a speech in the United States in 1985 to the Union of Liberians in the Americas (ULAA) in which she said, “Liberia is governed by an illiterate M/Sgt, and a bunch of idiots and natives.” The woman was referring to a cabinet and directorate that were mostly indigene and sizeable bonafide Ph.D. holders and technocrats, who were appropriately placed in their respective fields and expertise, unlike her current regime of the corrupt and the incompetent, which is unqualified, inexperienced and misplaced.
In a further exposé of this callous and wicked woman’s reckless hypocrisy and warmongering, here is an excerpt from Ellen Johnson SIRLEAF’s Testimony to the US Congress for support of the NPFL war in LIBERIA on 19 June 1990.
“Today the Liberia State is exhausted and virtually near collapse. Economic resources have been plundered and misused by public officials whose greed and conspicuous consumption are unparalleled in the nation’s history.
Citizens and country alike have been reduced to begging for survival while substantial wealth accumulates in the hands of a few privileged few.
A once lowly master sergeant who came to power to redress the improprieties and inequalities in the society now rides in jewelry and three-piece suits, in a Rolls Royce with some fifteen other luxury cars in waiting. He speaks of love for a people, but a people who are feeling the brunt of a steady economic decline, which has left them impoverished.
Unemployment, the spiraling cost of living, the lack of medical facilities, inadequately equipped schools, little means of transportation and a depleted national capital stock are common conditions, which they face.
Even their culture and traditional ways of life are being threatened by wanton environmental degradation.”
In her capricious and extraordinary narrative to the joint US Congress in 2006, Madame Johnson-SIRLEAF, the settler, and plutocrat traced her origins and family background as follows:
“My family exemplifies the economic and social divide that has torn our nation. Unlike many privileged Liberians, I can claim no American lineage. Three of my grandparents were indigenous Liberians; the fourth was a German who married a rural market woman. That Grandfather was forced to leave the country when Liberia – in loyalty to the United States – declared war on Germany in 1914.
Both of my grandmothers were farmers and village traders. They could not read or write any language – as more than three-quarters of our people still cannot today – but they worked hard, they loved their country, they loved their families and they believed in education. They inspired me then, and their memory motivates me now to serve my people, to sacrifice for the world and honestly serve humanity. I could not, I will not – I cannot – betray their trust.
My parents were sent at a young age to Monrovia, where it was common for elite families to take in children from the countryside to perform domestic chores. They endured humiliations and indignities, but my mother was fortunate to be adopted by a kind woman, and both my parents were able through this system to go to school – a rarity at that time for poor people. My father even became the first native Liberian in the Liberian National Legislature.”
The narrative is a lamentable moment, forever to remain in the historical context of infamy. Self- rejection is clearly a psychological malady and now coming from a head of state, and an advancing octogenarian is pestiferous and worrisome.
Pearine Davis-PARKINSON is President Ellen SIRLEAF’s family and relations. She is the former controversial GSA director-general once barricaded by the employees for her arrogance and snobbishness.
In her yet, another defiant and symptomatic nepotistic signature presidential job awards, she initially appoints Pearine Davis-PARKINSON, her family and relations to an influential position in the office of the president, followed by the lucrative and powerful General Services Agency (GSA), and most recently Ambassador-at-Large portfolio in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Pearine is the daughter of the Reverend Geneviève GARNETTE.
Geneviève is the sister of Samuel David COLEMAN, the son of Liberia’s turn-of-the-century President, William David COLEMAN (1896-1900), who countenanced no reproach and resigned his office, rightly so, instead of salaaming to the pressure imposed by the high moralism of Monrovia’s political elite. President COLEMAN’s ancestors migrated to Liberia from Kentucky, United States of America at the tender age of eleven (11) years. The COLEMANS of Louisville, Kentucky, USA settled in the township of Clay-Ashland (1907), outside Monrovia, Montserrado County. The Reverend Geneviève GARNETTE is the late President’s daughter and the mother of Pearine Davis-PARKINSON.
Samuel David COLEMAN was a nemesis of President William Vacanarat Shadrach TUBMAN (1895-1971), by whose own hands he was allegedly shot and killed in the notorious post stockade prison at the Barclay Training Centre (BTC), on 27 June 1955. John David COLEMAN was the elder son of Samuel David Coleman, who had returned to Liberia after obtaining a university degree from the prestigious and capstone Howard University in Washington DC in 1953. John was killed along with his father. Their corpses were allegedly transported to their farm and estate outside Monrovia under the pretext that they were fleeing and killed in a shootout with security forces. Both father and son were implicated in the bogus and now infamous 1955 Plot that Failed against President TUBMAN. http://africaindc.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/weekendafrica-in-dc-anecdotes-the-dc-connection-in-the-attempted-assassination-1955-of-liberias-president-tubman/
Pearine is an accomplice of the notorious and controversial former auditor general of Liberia, Robert KIRBY who was dismissed from the powerful General Auditing Commission (GAC) for corruption and impropriety.
Defining the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and the Edward S MASON MC/MPA degree
There is a genuine and vigorous Harvard University MPA graduate degree, as well as a legitimate and bonafide MA degree in Economics. Francis CARBAH, former NASCORP chief executive is a Harvard University MA degree holder in Economics. But the spectacular Mid-Career/Master of Public Administration (MC/MPA) degree in the John Fitzgerald Kennedy School of Government (HKS) at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA; is a Mid-Level Career certificate reserved for incumbent senior civil servants and senior executive service (SES) officials in developing and/or third world countries.
Liberia and nearly all the 52 nation-states in the Africa region are developing and third world countries. The program is also restricted to nationals from countries in transition economies in Eastern Europe, Asia, South America, and the Caribbean. US nationals and citizens of western developed countries and other industrialized economies, including matured and proper democracies are exempt from the program.
Furthermore, the HKS academic circle and workload do not require the scientific rigor and the intellectual vigor of the traditional graduate school and the legendary Master’s degree program and protocol. There is a similarity between the Edward S MASON and Lucius N LITTAUER programs. http://www.hks.harvard.edu/degrees/registrar/key-dates-and-academic-calendar
The School is named after the 35th President of the United States of America, who fashioned and popularized public service as a vocation and an obligation. He founded the US Peace Corps and offered scholarships and fellowships to third world students to study at prestigious US universities.
The US Peace Corps traces its roots and mission to 1960 when then Senator John F Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries. From that inspiration, grew a federal government agency devoted to world peace and friendship.
Two famous ethnic Luo tribesmen and legendary Kenyan economists with credible, excellent, and genuine credentials, Barack Hussein Obama Sr, and Thomas Odhiambo Joseph MBOYA were some of his noted fellowship recipients. President Kennedy was a Massachusetts native and bonafide Harvard graduate. His novel publication is The Profiles in Courage. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas USA on 22 November 1963. He was 43 years of age.
The Edward Sagendorph MASON Program is not a financial fellowship program. The program is supported by donors, governments, or grant agencies. Additional funding is supplemented by personal and family resources.
The program is in honor of University Professor Edward Sagendorph MASON, a noted economist, former Harvard University dean and frequent Government adviser. Professor MASON early on determined that midlevel government and NGO personnel from these less-developed nations and countries in transition could benefit from a year of study at Harvard. This led, in the fall of 1957, to the establishment of a fellowship program at Harvard in international development, now known as the Edward S MASON Program in Public Policy and Management in Developing Countries. He considered this program to be his greatest legacy.
Professor Mason assisted in the establishment of the Harvard Kennedy Schools (HKS) and served as dean. He began his Harvard teaching career in 1923 while working toward his doctorate. By 1936, he was a full professor, and in 1947 to 1958, he became dean of the Graduate School of Public Administration, which, was transformed to the John F Kennedy School of Government in 1966. He remained dean for 11 years. He taught at Harvard for 46 years and was conferred University Professor on his retirement in 1969. He died in 1992 at the age of 93.
Edward Sagendorph MASON (1899 – 1992) Edward S MASON Fellows are required to participate fully in the Mason Fellows Summer Seminar, the Midcareer Summer Program, and two terms of full-time academic work in residence at HKS. As such, Mason Fellows are required to be in residence in Cambridge toward the end of June.
The Harvard Kenney School MASON Fellows Graduates
According to the HKS brochure and cyber link, http://www.hks.harvard.edu/degrees/masters/mc-mpa applicants to the MASON Program must hold citizenship from a developing, newly industrialized or transitional economy country. In addition, prospective candidates must have seven or more years of full-time relevant professional experience at the time of application; and present a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of at least 600 (paper-based) or 100 (Internet-based, with a minimum score of 25 in each section) or an IELTS overall band score of 7 with a score of at least 7 in each section. Applications will be evaluated on a variety of criteria, including quality of professional experience, prior academic performance, the potential for influencing public policy and evidence of English language proficiency. The baccalaureate requirement is flexible and unenforced and often waved by the admissions committee.
This lenient and weak academic policy has generated concern among former and current Harvard students. “Among the student community, it is known that the HKS admission policies are less than strict. Pretty much anyone that has money to cover the tuition has a good chance to get in. HKS has one of the highest admission rates of any Harvard school,” said a former student who requested his name not used. An admissions official declined to disclose student admission rates “as a matter of school policy.” Unofficially, the acceptance rate for the MC/MPA Mason Program is estimated at 50%, a high rate in comparison to Harvard University other graduate schools. (http://www.forbes.com/sites/doliaestevez/2013/08/06/do-you-really-need-a-collegedegree-to-study-at-a-harvard-graduate-school/)
The study circle is a summer orientation, between the months of June to August, a maximum eight (8) credit hours course and/or one semester, for a period ranging between six and nine months of active study and residence at the Harvard Cambridge campus. There are no rigid graduate school requirements, such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Admission is open to an optional TOEFL for non-English language speaking candidates.
A bachelor’s degree from any active and functional college or university is acceptable, and sponsorship of US$45K to US$60K is required for tuition and academic expenses from the government or public-sector organization. Living expenses and personal maintenance expenses are extra.
Perhaps, there is an urgent need to distinguish between an academic university degree and an institutional occupational professional degree in these times of ever-mushrooming higher education centers of all types and shades, and caliber.
John HARVARD (1607-1638) Benefactor and namesake of Harvard College
The Richest and the Wealthiest
Harvard University proper is the oldest institution of higher education and higher learning in the United States, established in 1636, and globally the richest and the wealthiest. It was named after the College’s first benefactor, the young Christian minister John Harvard of Charlestown now Cambridge, who upon his death in 1638 left his library and half his estate to the institution. A statue of John Harvard stands in front of University Hall in Harvard Yard and is perhaps the University’s best-known landmark.
There are more than 360,000 living alumni in the United States and over 190 other countries. Harvard University is by far the world’s richest higher education institution with an estimated financial endowment of more than US$32 billion in the fiscal year 2011 and growing. In addition, and based on Wealth-X’s research, Harvard University blows the competition out of the water with 2,964 alumni worth a collective $622 billion as of 2012/2013.
The University’s endowment is managed by the Harvard Management Company (HMC).
A Protest Post culled from Facebook “A Liberian-American graphics artist and painter bitterly protested in a popular Liberian chat room in Facebook social media that the pomp and ceremony surrounding “the HKS portrait is an asinine charade whitewashing the corruptness”, and dull leadership by the Liberian leader of the Liberia nation and people.”
About the Author
The Author Sarr Abdulai VANDI is University Professor of International Affairs, ITU senior expert, and IBB professor and director emeritus (2000-2010). He initiated the ongoing Liberia telecommunications and ICTs/ICT4D reform process (1999-2004), which culminated in the establishment of the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA). Dr. VANDI inaugurated and was first chairman and chief executive of the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) 2004-2007. He is former Howard University professor (1977-1981) and a senior fellow (1994-1998), and Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, RL (1981-1984).
He was briefly Provost and VPAA, Grand Bassa Community College (GBCC) 2010-2011. He is presently in the United States, from Cape Verde where he had gone into voluntary exile after the 2011 fictional presidential elections. Dr. VANDI was a coordinator and principal co-author of the 2011 Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) manifesto and party platform – The Agenda for Prosperity (AfP).
Editor’s Note: This article was first published by other media outlets in June 2014. It is republished per the author’s request and approval.
Note: The view expressed herein is purely the opnion or facts based on the author’s perspective; it does not reflect the position or view of Globe Afrique.