President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf over the weekend made what observers say could be one of her last reshuffles to ensure that her government leaves memorable footprints, despite negative criticism of governance in and out of the country.
The new appointments or reshuffle affected several government ministries and agencies, including ministries of State for Presidential Affairs, Education, Information, Defense, Foreign and Internal Affairs.
Others are the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company and the National Security Agency.
Sylvester M. Grigsby was named the new Minister of State, replacing Dr. Edward B. McClain, who died on July 23. Minister Grigsby, according to an Executive Mansion source, has served with distinction in the position he has been named to for the last several months. Dr. McClain was President Sirleaf’s Minister of State and Chief of Staff and was one of the longest-serving officials in her administration.
Significantly, Mr. Grigsby is a highly skilled and effective diplomat and negotiator, with travel experience to more than 90 countries as a representative of the Government of Liberia. He has also served as a member of Liberia’s delegation on more than 200 important diplomatic missions and has participated in major and historic international conferences and summits around the world over the last 35 years, an Executive Mansion source indicated. He also served as Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Minister for International Cooperation & Economic Affairs, both at the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs. “He is a diplomat’s diplomat,” the mansion source added.
Meanwhile, Rev. Sando E. Townsend becomes religious advisor to the President.
At the Ministry of Transport, Sam Wlue now takes over as Minister, replacing Angela Bush Cassell, who is waiting to be reassigned. Prior to the Transport Ministry, Wlue Served as Managing Director of the National Housing Authority (NHA). In the National Transitional Government of Liberia headed by
Charles Gyude Bryant (NTGL 2003-2006), he served as Minister of Commerce.
At the Ministry of Education, Gbovadeh G. Gbilia becomes Deputy Minister for Planning, Research, and Development replacing Anthony Nimely, who recently fell apart with Minister George Werner.
Mr. Saa David Nyuma Jr. becomes Assistant Minister for Planning, Research, and Development; Ms. Florence Allen-Jones, Assistant Minister for Early Childhood Education, while Ms. Lalata Neufville Wei becomes Assistant Minister for Fiscal Affairs and Human Resource Development.
Bobby Livingstone, then Public Relations Officer to the National Elections Commission (NEC) during the regime of former Commissioner James M. Fromayan, becomes Deputy Minister of Public Affairs, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, replacing Isaac Jackson, who President Sirleaf recently appointed to the International Maritime Organization.
Morris Dukuly, former Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister State, and chair of the National Port Authority, is now chair of the Board of Directors at the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC).
Sam Gaye replaces Frank Nyekan as Director of the Presidential elite Executive Protective Service (EPS), formerly Special Security Service (SSS). Nyekan was named as a consultant to the EPS.
At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Willye Mai Tolbert King was named Ambassador to La Cote d’Ivoire.
At the Ministry of National Defense, Armed Forces of Liberia 23rd Infantry Brigade Commander Colonel Prince C. Johnson III was named Deputy Chief of Staff to be promoted to Brigadier General, while the President also named Lieutenant/Colonel Davidson Forley, Commandant, Armed Force Training Command, to be promoted to the rank of a full Colonel.
These appointments are subject to confirmation by the Senate where applicable.
In a related development, President Sirleaf named several persons at the Ministry of Internal Affairs to local positions.
In Grand Bassa County, Moses Janjay Tinko Bull was named Assistant Superintendent for Development; while in Sinoe County, John Karlor was named Commissioner, Juarzon County District, and Frederick N. Koffa, District Inspector, Juarzon Statutory District.
Others appointed are A. Menjay Wleh, City Mayor, Mexico City, Juarzon Statutory District; Isaac B. Quetoh, Township Commissioner, Tobo Township; Joe D. Weego Harmon, Township Commissioner, Chelor Township; and Harry Dorbor, Township Commissioner, Needweh Township.
In Maryland County, Gyude Brown was named City Mayor, Harper City, while the President has also set up a National Steering Committee on Climate Change that includes the Environmental Protection Agency, Forestry Development Authority, Ministries of Lands, Mines and Energy, Transport, Gender and Development.