CSA Director-General Takes Over as PYPP Board Chair

Robert Serge Saint-Pé & Dioda Wreh-Seekey

Monrovia, Liberia- The Director-General of the Civil Service Agency (CSA), Hon. Josiah F. Joekai, Jr., takes over as the Board Chair of the President’s Young Professional Program (PYPP) on an occasion where the Acting Chair (Co. Chair), Mr. T. Nelson Williams, II, symbolically turned over the mantle of authority to the Civil Service Agency within the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Ministerial Complex on May 21, 2024. The ceremony was attended by several PYPP cohorts, members of the PYPP Alumina Association, some of whom are government officials, and staff from the CSA.

In his takeover speech, Hon. Joekai praised the PYPP Executive Director, Mrs. Ciata Stevens d’Almeida, for her impactful leadership, which has significantly bolstered the country’s workforce. He emphasized the CSA’s commitment to working closely with the PYPP, noting that the CSA is responsible for managing human resources through recruitment and policy implementation across all 103 government spending entities.
“The PYPP has made a significant impact due to the unlimited number of young people committed to serving Liberia,” Hon. Joekai remarked, highlighting the program’s role in shaping the next generation of civil service leaders.

Hon. Joekai now steps into his new role following the brief tenure of Mr. T. Nelson Williams, II, who had been serving as acting chairman after the departure of Mr. James A. Thompson, the former CSA Director-General. As Board Chair, Hon. Joekai will lead and coordinate the Board of Directors’ activities, holding fiscal and legal authority over the PYPP’s governance.

Mr. Williams, who served as Co-Chair for the past five months, provided the outstanding issues of the program before submitting his heartfelt felicitations and later providing the handover notes and the gavel of authority of the noble institution. He also praised and expressed confidence in Hon. Joekai’s ability to build on the institution’s existing foundation.

Executive Director Mrs. d’Almeida provided an overview of the program’s achievements, stating that since its inception in 2009, the PYPP has recruited over 245 young professionals across 12 cohorts. Of these, 154 continue to serve in the civil service, while 48 have transitioned to the private sector. Current efforts include the placement of 35 members of Class XII.

“The program has seen 178 fellows complete the full two-year fellowship, with seven resigning before completion. The remaining 60 fellows are from Classes XI and XII.” Mrs. d’Almeida asserted.

The President’s Young Professionals Program (PYPP) of Liberia is a prestigious and competitive two-year program that recruits and places recent Liberian university graduates in important government roles and provides them with training and mentorship as they support the government’s top priorities. The PYPP was launched in 2009 by a consortium of visionary funders with the support of the government of Liberia. It has become one of Africa’s most competitive programs for leadership in public service.

The PYPP, established in 2009, aims to attract and retain the brightest young minds in the country by providing them with opportunities for professional development and leadership training. The program has successfully produced numerous graduates who have gone on to assume key roles in both the public and private sectors. The program’s success has gained international recognition, which has led to the establishment of Emerging Public Leaders in Ghana and Kenya, with Malawi also on the verge of copying Liberia’s most prestigious and competitive two-year fellowship.

According to Article 3 of the Bylaws establishing the President’s Young Professionals Program (PYPP), the Director-General of the Civil Service Agency shall serve as Chairman of the program.

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