President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has bestowed some of the nation’s highest honors for dedicated services on four Liberian diplomats and other personnel of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
The four served the nation in ambassadorial posts at various missions, while the rest served as support staff at Liberia’s missions in Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea and the Consulate General of Liberia in New York, United States. Two of the four — Ambassadors Marcus M. Kofa and Mr. Edward Gboloco Howard Clinton — still serve the Foreign Ministry as Ambassadors-At-Large, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
All of the Foreign Ministry personnel, who were among 29 others, were honored by President Sirleaf, who is also Grand Master of the Orders of Distinction, during the Investiture Ceremonies as part of celebrations marking Liberia’s 169th Independence Anniversary in the Foreign Ministry’s C. Cecil Dennis Jr. Auditorium on Friday, July 22.
President Sirleaf bestowed on Ambassador Neh R. S. Dukuly Tolbert, who is a career diplomat and distinguished public servant the grade of Grand Band, Star of Africa (GBSA).
“As a career diplomat, you served with distinction and credit in the Liberian Diplomatic Service as First Secretary in Paris, France; Ambassador of Liberia to France and Permanent Representative to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain and also to the Swiss Federation; Ambassador to United Nations with concomitant accreditation to Cuba as well as Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, covering a period of 36 years,” the President told Ambassador Dukuly-Tolbert in the Citation.
As for Ambassador Marcus M. Kofa, who is presently a Senior Ambassador-At-Large at the Foreign Ministry, a career diplomat and distinguished public servant, the President honored him with the grade of Knight Great Band, Humane Order of African Redemption (KGB-HOAR).
President Sirleaf in the Citation to Ambassador Kofa, recounted his flourishing diplomatic career: “As a hallmark of your diplomatic career, the late President Samuel K. Doe appointed you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Liberia to the Republic of Guinea, 1987.
“Similarly, the former President of the Interim Government of National Unity of Liberia (IGNU), Dr. Amos C. Sawyer, renewed the appointment as Ambassador and accredited you to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union and the
United Nations Economic Commission from 1993 to 2006, where you remarkably served as Doyen of the Diplomatic Corps in Addis Ababa.”
President Sirleaf also honored Ambassador Edward Gboloco Howard Clinton, Ambassador-At-Large, astute diplomat, environmentalist and distinguished public servant, with the grade of Knight Great Band, Humane Order of African Redemption (KGB-HOAR).
Ambassador Clinton began his public career as developmental officer at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (1982), and later headed the Human Resource Development of the Organization of African Unity, now African Union.
He also became Advisor to the Interim Government of National Unity (IGNU); Deputy Minister for International Cooperation and Economic Integration, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2005), and Ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union (2006-2011).
On Mr. Ben Sie Toe Collins, who is Minister Plenipotentiary at the Liberian Embassy in South Africa, a career diplomat and distinguished public servant, President Sirleaf conferred on him the grade of Knight Great Commander, Humane Order of African Redemption (KGC-HOAR).
Mr. Collins’ diplomatic career began at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he served as a research analyst, followed by appointments as Second Secretary of Liberian Embassies in Tokyo, Japan and Nairobi, Kenya, respectively.
“Thereafter, you served as First Secretary in Lagos, Nigeria; Accra, Ghana as well as Minister Counselor and Minister Plenipotentiary in Pretoria, South Africa and later Sierra Leone. In your work and service, you have immensely contributed to the promotion of the Foreign Policy of the Liberian Nation,” the President said in the Citation.
She praised all the other Foreign Ministry support staffers, who included a Liberian, Ms. Victoria E. Moulton who works at the Home Office; a Philipino, Mrs. Michelle H. Cruz-Valenzuela at the Consulate General in New York; a Guinean, Mr. Daouda Cisse at the Mission in Conakry, Guinea; two Ghanaians, Messrs. Josiah C. Andoh and Seth Quashie of the Mission in Accra, Ghana; and two Ethiopians, Messrs. Bashada Badada and Gebre Michael Gebre at the Mission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
President Sirleaf was ably assisted by H.E. Ms. Marjon V. Kamara, Foreign Minister of Liberia to bestow on the Ministry’s staffers their honors of distinction.