By Deogratias Z. Delaney
For Immediate Release:
December 10, 2022
Over the past two weeks, multiple allegations have been published via social media channels and in the Liberian press about me and my academic and professional achievements.
My silence and delayed response were due to me knowing that the allegations published were baseless. I also believed that the public and the people who know me would realize the mischaracterizations of my work experience were absurd and ridiculous.
It is clear now that those misstatements were part of a broad, organized and well-calibrated attack intended to undermine my hard-earned credibility and distract me from the job we were carrying out for the people of Liberia.
Following my resignation, the allegations morphed into a targeted and sustained smear campaign built on falsehoods that included accusations of fraud, plagiarism and identity theft.
I take full ownership for the one error for which I resigned: the fact that I referred to my Master level diploma from Oxford (See Transcript) in Global Business as a Master’s in Global Business during my recruitment process, and thereafter. For that, I apologize to the Liberian people, my mentors, supporters, my family, friends, former colleagues and everyone who believes in me.
Strangely, that particular misstep was not one of the allegations highlighted in the social media campaign calling for my resignation.
I wrote this statement to refute the misinformation about me and affirm that the following things are true:
My full name is Deogratias Zobon Delaney. Abbreviated, it is Deo Z. Delaney. I am a dual citizen of Liberia and Ireland. I shortened my name from Deogratias to Deo for practical reasons such as pronunciation and email handles.
I graduated from the Cathedral Catholic high school in Liberia.
I obtained my Associate of Arts Degree from the Mother Pattern College of Health Sciences and went on to enroll directly into a Masters Program at the institute of Law and Politics at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna di Pisa in Italy, obtaining a Master’s degree in Human Rights and Conflict Management.
In 2012, I went on to study at the University of Oxford Said Business School, where I obtained with distinction a Masters-level, postgraduate diploma in global business. My dissertation for the program was awarded a distinction as well.
My professional career humbly and proudly began here in Liberia at ADRA and then I moved on to UNMIL that many of us know and remember.
I went on to join the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Bonn Germany.
I later moved to UNICEF Supply Division Vaccine Center in Copenhagen, Denmark.
I worked with the European Commission External Action Service (EEAS) as part of the core team that established EUCAP Nestor, the EU anti-piracy efforts in the Horn of Africa.
Thereafter, I joined the British Chamber of Commerce in Denmark -- first, as Business Development Manager, and later, as Head of Business Development, EU and International Trade tasked with helping to promote trade and investment dialogue between Europe and the US. In this role I got the privilege of working directly with and hosting amongst others, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield; US Assistant Sec. Commerce Ted Dean; US Ambassador/ Chief of Protocol Rufus Gifford; President of Microsoft Brad Smith; Ignacio Garcia Bercero, EU Chief negotiator of the Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and EU Commissioner Vera Jourova.
I also authored and co-authored several publications on trade liberalization, data protection and investment protection. All of these writings are available and verifiable as my original work.
I worked at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in Beijing, China. At AIIB, I facilitated Liberia’s Accession to the bank. Following, AIIB, I went on to join Accenture Technology in Amsterdam.
I was recruited to head LBDI with a mandate to repurpose the bank as the premier development finance institution of the country based on my international experience. I accepted the role because I am a strong believer in Liberia and its young people, and our ability to create the country we want to see for ourselves and our children.
But part of repurposing LBDI was to collect millions of dollars in outstanding loans (which I started to recover aggressively). In parallel, I was initiating an independent audit of the bank, by an internationally reputable firm. I intended to clearly demonstrate to would-be investors the state of the bank I inherited. This is something I hope my successor will continue successfully.
I trust this statement will provide some clarity and bring to permanent close the campaign of blatant and hurtful lies published about me across media platforms and channels.