Harvard University Honors Cllr. Tubman


A renowned Liberian tax Lawyer, Robert C. Tubman, was one of several alumni of Harvard Law School (HLS), Harvard University, that were recently honored by their alma mater.

The alumni, many of them renowned Lawyers from across the globe, were honored for their respective ‘invaluable contributions’ to the school and humanity, the school said in a citation to each of the honorees.

Robert Tubman is a 1969 graduate of HLS obtaining a Juris Doctor degree specializing in Tax Laws. His older brother, Counselor Winston Tubman is also an alumnus of the school—obtaining his degree in 1966.

“I was elated to have been honored by my alma mater in such a manner. I felt very proud to have been surrounded by school mates, classmates and loved ones on that day,” Tubman told the Daily Observer in a recent interview.

He said the honor is in recognition of the alumni’s invaluable services to the school and mankind. “This is a school that I go to twice a year to pay back (contributing) in whatever little way I can,” he said. Tubman is always instrumental in raising funds to undertake projects at HLS. Also honored along with Cllr. Tubman was the former U.S. Attorney- General, Loretta Lynch, Class of 1984.

The Harvard community has 21,000 undergraduate and graduate students, nearly 40,000 employees and affiliates, and over 365,000 alumni living and working around the world – each of them with a story to tell, for which Robert Tubman is of no exception.

Robert holds fond memories of his time at Harvard – the world most renowned, richest university.

As one of the most selective law schools in the country, Harvard Law School searches for truly remarkable students to fill its halls. As the country’s second-oldest law school, Harvard accepts just 11 percent of its applicants, but an incredible 92 percent of its grads are employed soon after they complete their studies.

Among its numerous alumni are Supreme Court justices, federal judges, politicians, and business leaders.

But what makes the school so celebrated is the quality of its students, Tubman told this newspaper, adding, “This is where we were privileged to have been.”
Apart from the Tubmans, there are just over 30 other Liberians including, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who are alumni of Harvard, not necessarily the law school.

It is no secret that it takes more than just high grades and impressive extracurricular activities to get into this elite school. To stand out among such a distinguished group, students need groundbreaking achievements and unique stories. Harvard has a gargantuan $35.7 billion endowment, the largest in the US and, with no doubt, the world.

Mr. Tubman said that the recognition has made him to want to do more for humanity. “Such recognition encourages more to go beyond your limited resources for humanity,” he said.

On March 26, 2014, Tubman was appointed chairman of the Board of Directors of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA)—a position in which he said he was honored and privileged to serve, not just Madam President, but the Liberian people.

He noted that his appointment would not have come at a better time, “especially at this critical time in the history of our country, when the country is being reconstructed.  It is indeed a challenge which I am honored and pleased to be a part of.” He noted that the challenges are many, “but with God’s help, I am certain Liberia will be reconstructed for the benefit of all its citizens.”

Robert, a nephew of the famous Liberian President William V. S. Tubman, was born in Pleebo, Maryland County. His father, William Alfred Tubman, was a businessman and rubber planter, while his mother, Grace Puate Howe, was a home maker.

Little Robert began his early education at St. Francis School in Pleebo between 1947 and 1954. He then went to the Seventh Day Adventist School in Konola, then Bong County, and graduated 1956.

He is a 1959 graduate of the Booker Washington Institute (BWI), Kakata, where he said he got his inspiration for education, discipline, competition and the courage to work hard. “I’m glad to have also attended BWI. The training and education from there have had everlasting impacts on me,” he said.

In 1959 Robert was admitted to the London School of Economics, University of London for three years where he studied Economics and Politics eventually earning a B.Sc, Economics “Cum Laude” in 1963.

He spent a year studying African History, African Economics and Sociology at the Center for African Studies, Edinburgh University.

He returned home in 1964 and took an entry level position at the Agency for Economic Affairs, (later Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs), assigned to work with the Harvard Economics Advisory team which had a contract to supervise and train Liberians.

His immediate coordinator was Dr. Elliot J. Berg of Harvard University, who became his supervisor and mentor.

Tubman is poised to attend BWI Alumni Association in North America’s 25th anniversary this year where Winston Tubman will serve as guest speaker.


  1. K.D; the name Liberia, from the Latin word Liber; meaning to be freed, was infact chosen by Harvard’s Educators. Liberia’s Constitution was also written by Educators from Harvard. You may contact Harvard. They will gladly send you some reading materials. Harvard University and Liberia go a long way. Harvard have influenced U.S relations toLiberia in many ways. It was up to Liberia, to make the best of what Harvard had to offer. That’s the fact.


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