New York University, Friends of Liberia to Host Discussion on Election

New York University, in partnership with Friends of Liberia and the United States Institute for Peace, will host a panel discussion on the 2017 Liberia elections this Friday.

Organizers said the event will bring together experts to examine the ongoing elections. It will take place from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., Washington, D.C. time. The discussion will also be streamed live on the New York University’s website.

Friends of Liberia was initially started by former Peace Corps volunteers but is now comprised of former diplomats, missionaries, and Liberians who support educational, social, and humanitarian programs in Liberia.

During the early stage of the Ebola outbreak in 2014, the group partnered with local organizations to get much-needed supplies to hard-hit areas long before other international organizations could react. It is also currently supporting early childhood learning programs with the We-Care Foundation.

Don Drach, a board member of Friends of Liberia who volunteered decades ago as an elementary teacher in Salayea, Lofa for the Peace Corps, disclosed in an email that former U.S. Ambassador to Liberia, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, will lead an analysis of the election process and its meaning to Liberians through the prisms of peace, democracy, and development.

Thomas-Greenfield is currently the inaugural Distinguished Resident Fellow in African Studies at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University.

She recently retired after a 35-year career with the U.S. Foreign Service, after serving as assistant secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs.

Panelists at the event will provide “up-to-the-minute” information on the election, discuss the impact of the delay on the country’s application of the law and acceptance of the results. They would also assess the challenges a new president will face in unifying the country.

Featured photo by Zeze Ballah

Gbatemah Senah

Gbatemah is currently a senior student at the University of Liberia and a recipient of the Jonathan P. Hicks Scholarship for Mass Communications. In 2017, Senah won three Press Union of Liberia awards: Women's Rights Reporter of the Year, Legislative Reporter of the Year, and Land Rights Reporter of the Year.

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