The Honorable Amara M. Konneh, Minister of Planning & Economic Affairs, Republic of Liberia, speaks at Heinz College Convocation “Leadership for Development.”-Center for International Policy & Innovation - Carnegie Mellon University

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Honorable Amara M. Konneh, Minister of Planning & Economic Affairs, Republic of Liberia, speaks at Heinz College Convocation “Leadership for Development.”

The Honorable Amara M. Konneh, Minister of Planning & Economic Affairs, Republic of Liberia, will be the featured speaker at the November 16 Heinz College Convocation. Konneh’s convocation lecture, entitled “Leadership for Development,” will focus on the importance of strong leadership in the development and rebuilding of a country like Liberia.

Minister's Profile

Appointed in August 2008, Amara M. Konneh is the sixteenth Minister of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs. Before becoming Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs, Minister Konneh served as Deputy Chief of State in the Office of the President from 2006-2007, where he spearheaded several initiatives that include reforming the management practices at the Ministry of State through a performance improvement program and rebuilding Liberia's ICT infrastructure and policies. He will discuss the role of strong leadership in the development and rebuilding of a country like Liberia.

The top priorities for Minister Konneh are prioritizing the Ministry’s interventions and focusing on building internal capacity; tracking the poverty reduction strategy and macro-economic analysis; strengthening aid coordination mechanisms; improving relationships with partners and promoting the use of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) for development.

As Liberia’s alternate governor to the World Bank and African Development Bank, the Minister regularly travels internationally to visit with foreign governments, multilateral institutions, and foundation leaders to discuss ways to enhance Liberia’s recovery and promote economic growth. Tasked with the responsibility of overseeing the implementation of the PRS, he is consulting with major stakeholders in the country – the public, NGOs, civil society, donors, and private sector – to discuss their role in the process. He believes passionately in President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s vision of a Liberia that is at peace with itself and neighbor and creating opportunities for all its citizens regardless of their socio-economic status.

Minister Konneh oversees a technical Cabinet agency with some 160 workers and a $1.2 million budget focused on enhancing human capacity, national economic development policy and Planning, national development coordination and management, and external support monitoring and coordination. His Ministry gathers vast quantities of economic and demographic data to measure the health and vitality of the economy; supports planning and economic policy to foster, promote and develop the Liberian economy; an spearheads Liberia’s efforts in long range development planning, monitoring and implementation, donor program coordination and resource mobilization.

Before becoming Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs, Minister Konneh served as Deputy Chief of State in the Office of the President from 2006-2007, where he spearheaded several initiatives that include reforming the management practices at the Ministry of State through a performance improvement program and rebuilding Liberia's ICT infrastructure and policies.

Minister Konneh began his career in 1991 with the International Rescue Committee, as Refugee Education Coordinator in Guinea. In this capacity, he led the implementation of education response for Liberian and Sierra Leonean refugee students in Beyla Prefecture, Guinea. Minister Konneh previously worked as a financial systems analyst at the Vanguard Group of Investment Companies in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

Minister Konneh studied Public Administration at Harvard University. He holds a graduate degree in Management Information Systems from Penn State University, and an undergraduate degree from Drexel University. He is married to Hawah Konneh and they have four children.