LIBERIA: Gurley Gibson, Previously Nominated Ambassador to US, Gets UK Posting

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LONDON – Ms. Gurley Gibson appears to have finally lost her effort to secure the position as Liberia’s Ambassador to the United States with her nomination Wednesday, by President George Manneh Weah as Liberia’s ambassador to the Court of St. James, the United Kingdom.

In a statement Wednesday, President Weah’s office announced Gibson’s appointment, finally filling the void left by former Ambassador Mr. Mohammed Sheriff, who was recalled from the post during the dog days of former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s government. 

Ambassador Sheriff was recalled following a British Broadcasting Corporation’s ‘Focus on Africa’ program interview last September in which he stated that he believes President Charles Taylor had changed and should be freed and allowed to participate in political activities in Liberia. His remarks came on the fringes of the UN General Assembly. Amb. Sheriff, a medical doctor by training, said he believes the Taylor issue ought to be addressed by Liberia’s political parties, implying that it is not up to the Liberian government.

Ms. Gibson, a trained Clinician and therapist, is a former Trade Representative for Liberia in the United States of America. She most recently worked in the Philadelphia School District through Intercultural Family Services & Bethanna.

She has more than ten  years of experience in Diplomacy, International Trade Negotiations, Global Economics, Therapeutic Support Services (STS)Clinician/Mobile Therapist, and Women Rights and Advocacy, together with a Graduate Degree in Human Services. High performing executive with a proven track record of accomplishments in negotiating several  mutually beneficial international and domestic trade agreements between the Government of the Republic of Liberia and many foreign corporations with agreement totaling investments in millions of dollars.  Ability to develop strategic long term partnerships and communicate effectively with all levels of decision makers. Fluent in English and French. 

As a trade representative, Ms. Gibson successfully negotiated and set-up trade deals totaling several millions dollars between companies from the USA, Africa, Latin America, Canada, the Middle East, India, Holland, Germany, Singapore, Hong Kong and China. Attended many global conferences in business and government conferences aimed at creating opportunities for development in Africa.  

She was instrumental in the relocation of the Embassy of Liberia Trade and Investment Office (TIO) from Washington, DC to Philadelphia to operate closer to big commercial markets in the Northeast trio-state region of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania a region home to large industries and corporations, huge populations, and big African immigrant communities serving as an important hub for agricultural production which was critical to support the growth mechanized farming and the agro industry in Liberia.

Ms. Gibson also helped foster strong partnership with the Mayor’s Commission on African, Caribbean, and Immigrant Affairs in Philadelphia a relationship which promoted cultural and tourism between Liberia and the city of Philadelphia and leading to several trade missions to Liberia organized by the Embassy of Liberia Trade and Investment Office and the Mayor’s Commission boosting foreign direct investments in Liberia.

She was active in developing practical working championships between the Embassy of Liberia Trade and Investment Office and several national and multilateral agencies including Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Pan African Capital Group, LLC, Global Building Solutions (GBS), among many other foreign corporations and entities that accelerated the financing of small and mid-sized business entities in Liberia to spur job growth and economic activities in the country.

She also worked to increase investments in Liberia by implementing several other practical approaches that included concluding an arrangement with the Philadelphia Revitalization Education Program (PREP) to establish a Trainers of Training program for Liberians to travel to the United States to receive technical training and return back to Liberia at the end of such program to train Liberians acquire technical skills; holding consultative  meetings with entrepreneurs who were interested doing business in Liberia including the Green Planet Group, Ecopower, Apple Transportation Co., Inc, Liberia Institute for Technology, and Sanctuary 303 Inc.

Ms. Gibson attended several meetings and conferences including the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) conference to explore significant market access to the US for qualifying Liberian commodities;, Mayor of Philadelphia dinner meeting for businesses in the greater Philadelphia area to significantly enhance investment opportunity in Liberia; the Global Interdependence Center Trade conference, meeting at the South Jersey Port Corporation with officials of the City of Philadelphia and a representative of the World Cocoa Foundation to explore possibilities of identifying avenues for improving farming methods for Liberian cocoa farmers; represented the Embassy Of Liberia in Washington, DC at the African American Museum of Philadelphia at the event, “Celebrating Africa” an honoring program recognizing Liberia on her 162 independence anniversary. 

She also spearheaded the hosting of a Liberian Business Conference (LBC) in Philadelphia an initiative important to accelerate commercial incentives for Liberian businesses operating abroad to consolidate and reduce import fees and taxation at entry ports in the country for foreign Liberian businesses to participate in Liberia’s emerging market economy.

In 2015, Ms. Gibson helped establish the Liberian Women Forum {LWF} in 2015 in Philadelphia, PA emerging as Liberia’s premier policy organization leading the fight to promote women rights and empowerment initiatives in the country within these specific prongs: reduce the incidence of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in Liberia and contribute to an evolving society where attitude to the use of violence against women will be transformed; provide strategic and effective mentoring programs to enable women in Liberia define their roles within their communities and create awareness about their effectiveness; promote career advancement through skills training for abandoned girls and conduct literacy training programs for market women; and involve women in public policy decision-making process that affect their lives. Our organization believes Liberian policymakers will regularly utilize high-quality independent perspectives from a source outside government such as LWF to implement and formulate public policies that will foster respect for the rights of women.

VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT

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