Once a refugee in U.S.A., now head of one of Liberia’s biggest NGOs, Faith Akovi Cooper is a woman taking charge

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Madam Faith Akovi Cooper knows how to summarize her inspiring life story with a stark contrast. She remembers being a refugee in the United States just over two decades ago, but is “now head of one of the biggest NGOs and humanitarian organizations in Liberia”.

My job is exciting and truly is a dream come true. Imagine, once a refugee and now head of one of the biggest NGOs and humanitarian organizations in Liberia

She is one of the most inspiring African women who gained experience and knowledge in the United States and returned to West Africa to help.

Madam Cooper is a global health practitioner who currently lives in Monrovia, the Liberian capital, where she serves as Country Director for the International Rescue Committee.

Madam Faith Akovi Cooper Country Director for the International Rescue Committee in Liberia. Photo: Courtesy of recent African Women Conference in Rwanda in April 2019

Madam Cooper and her family moved to the United States in 1993 after a violent civil war in Liberia left many people dead and displaced hundreds of thousands more.

Today, Madam Cooper says she considers the U.S. a great equalizer.

“In other words, it is the land of opportunity for those who are determined to achieve their dreams. I am what I am today because the U.S gave me the opportunity to resettle,” she says.

After obtaining two college degrees, Cooper remained in the US where she gained more experience and knowledge dealing with the consortium to eliminate health disparities, particularly for people of color.

Madam Faith Akovi Cooper Country Director for the International Rescue Committee in Liberia. Photo: Courtesy of recent African Women Conference in Rwanda in April 2019

During the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa, Cooper made the selfless decision to move to Ghana as Regional Advisor and Program Lead for the West Africa Disaster Preparedness initiative.

“I was part of the original team that developed the program concept and led the implementation of it at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center in Ghana.  We trained, 1,500 disaster professionals from 15 West and Central African countries,” Cooper says.

However, due to funding the program was unable to continue.

Cooper then moved to Liberia as Country Director of Africare before taking on the current position as head of IRC.

“I have a staff of 110 people spread across three offices in the country.  We have programs in the areas of Health, Women’s Child Protection and Empowerment as well as Economic Wellbeing,” she says.

“My job is exciting and truly is a dream come true. Imagine, once a refugee and now head of one of the biggest NGOs and humanitarian organizations in Liberia.”

Cooper’s advice to the youth is to always dream big and explore opportunities.

I have a staff of 110 people spread across three offices in the country

“I say to every youth, regardless whatever challenges and situation might be, use it as a stepping stone to achieve greater things. Always remember that you have something to offer but you must find your purpose driven life.”

Madam Cooper is an iconic role model who gives younger generations hope and motivation.

Taylor Nicole | Today News Africa
Taylor Nicole | Today News Africa
Taylor Nicole, who is on internship at TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington D.C., is a junior at Marshall University majoring in advertising and public relations. She is also director of promotions at WMUL Radio Station where she does work as a publicist, news anchor and Weekend DJ. She hopes to graduate and become a publicist in the District of Columbia.
Taylor Nicole | Today News Africa
Taylor Nicole | Today News Africa
Taylor Nicole, who is on internship at TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington D.C., is a junior at Marshall University majoring in advertising and public relations. She is also director of promotions at WMUL Radio Station where she does work as a publicist, news anchor and Weekend DJ. She hopes to graduate and become a publicist in the District of Columbia.

16 COMMENTS

  1. Wow! An inspiring story that wakes you up to rethink your future direction. she is really a feminist. such a wonderful woman is my BOSS.

  2. Her story is truly inspiring! one thing I learned from this is determination and perseverance

  3. Truly an Inspiration to us all. From immigration to Bods lady in Her nation. Faithful you will continue to make your Mark and do great things with Jah guiding your footsteps. Always a supporter you lifelong sis Candace

  4. Faith your are AMAZING and I know this first hand. Having traveled the world with you and seen you in action, I beleive there is nothing you can’t do! When passion is your fuel, the drive can only lead you to GREATNESS! I’m a fan!

  5. Great job continuing to inspire our country and women globally cousin! You are as always.. A great inspiration for hardwork, dedicatation, and a beautiful heart, and a strong will!

  6. This is so special Faith! Thanks for all you do in helping to make the world a little better than you met it. You inspire me!

  7. OMG! FAITH, CONGRATS!!!
    How far back do we go? I am honored to know you and always admired your strength in the face of adversity. You came to my rescue one night at an NMA convention. I will never forget your kindness and generosity.
    Please let’s stay in touch. Hopefully, I will see you in Hawaii in July/August this year. I am finally officially working on my book. I am going to tell my story.

    NaNotchka

  8. Auntie Faaaaiittthhh!!! Best and favourite Bosslady by all standards. So far!

    Thank you for working for humanity!

  9. I appreciate madam Cooper leadership style, she inspire and give everyone the opportunity to grow in their career path. And everyone thought is considered.

  10. Am over heels knowing this great lady faith as a little lady with her lovely , caring and supportive mother. So so proud of her and May God continue to strengthen her and direct her as she leads the way to impact the young generation . Thank you mama more power to you .
    Thanks
    Aunty. Kadie Mensah

  11. Your role in society will profusely strengthen others. Truly you are one of the iron lady of Africa

  12. I am very proud of Madam Faith Akovi Cooper, IRC Country Director in Liberia.

    Bravo to you for the great achievements, humanitarian support and contributions you continue to provide to our people around the Global Village in Africa. We will forever remember your commitment and hard work…

  13. Inspiring. The strength of a woman. That’s my boss right there. Keep soaring, CD👍🏽💪🏾💜

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