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CGD Founder Ed Scott Donates $1 Million for Liberian Fellowships [Press Release]

February 12, 2007
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CGD Founder Ed Scott Donates $1 Million for Liberian Fellowships

Center for Global Development

WASHINGTON,D.C.(February 12,2007)- The government of Liberia and the Center for Global Development (CGD) announced today a new program to assist Liberia in managing its reconstruction. Each year for three years, the program will place five to six highly trained specialists in key Liberian ministries to support senior officials and their staff in advancing the rebuilding of the war-torn country.

The program, known as the Scott Family Liberia Fellows, was proposed by CGD's founding chairman, Edward Scott, and will be supported by a $1 million grant from the Scott family. Senior staff of the Center will provide overall guidance in the selection and activities of the fellows. The Scott Family Fellows will serve in Liberia for one year.

"I am very pleased to announce today that Mr. Scott and his family have agreed to donate generously one million dollars to assist Liberia by establishing the Scott Family Liberia Fellowships," President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said at the start of a week-long visit to Washington. She said that the fellowships "will provide the opportunity over the next two to three years for approximately 15 well-trained young professionals to work in Liberia for one year, assisting some of Liberia's most senior government officials."

CGD president Nancy Birdsall recently visited Liberia together with CGD senior fellow Steve Radelet, who has been advising the Liberian government on its relations with the international donor community. Birdsall welcomed the new fellows program.

"Ed Scott recognizes in Liberia a rare opportunity to provide significant support to a dedicated, highly capable, democratically-elected government struggling to recover from horrific conflict with extremely limited resources," she said. "I have no doubt that the program will benefit Liberia and the young professionals who are selected to participate."

The announcement came at a public event organized by CGD and the Mortara Center for International Studies at Georgetown University ahead of the Liberia Partners' Forum, to be held in Washington this week.

During the Forum, Sirleaf and senior Liberian officials will meet with Liberia's major international partners. The officials will describe Liberia's progress, outline its strategy for the near future, and discuss the ways in which the partners can best support Liberia's efforts towards recovery and sustained development.

Liberia's 14-year civil war left the country in ruins. Following the inauguration of President Sirleaf in January 2006, the country has begun the long journey to recovery. The new government has resettled tens of thousands of refugees, begun training new security forces, increased government revenues by more than 40 percent, restored electricity and water to parts of the capital, substantially increased primary school enrollment, and begun to rebuild roads and other critical infrastructure.

CGD conducts research and engages in policy debates to help improve the policies and practices of the U.S. and other rich countries towards development. CGD senior fellow Radelet has been advising Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her staff since her election and inauguration as Africa's first female head of state in January 2006.


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