Josiah F. Joekai, Jr. BA, MA
Executive Chairman, GAM-USA
Josiah F. Joekai, Jr. is an author and development practitioner with expertise in elections, education, and security administration. Integral leader who offers proven experience that inspires and drives organizational growth and productivity. A self-starter with great planning and management skills. Excellent communicator with the know-how in interfacing between executives, public-sector officials, and teams. Holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science with emphasis on International Relations, and Master of Arts Degree in Peace Studies and Conflict Transformation from the University of Liberia. Obtained professional certificates and diplomas in elections, education, and security administration from professional development institutions in Africa, Europe and the United Stated States of America. He is a BRIDGE trained elections expert.
Extensively contributed to Liberia’s post-conflict recovery. Under the auspices of UNICEF, assisted the Ministry of Education in managing the implementation of the National Policy on Girls’ Education which sought to narrow the gap between the boy child and girl child completing primary education. As Administrative Assistant to the Minister of Education and in addition to his core duties, he contributed to finalizing and rolling out Liberia’s ten-year Education Sector Plan (ESP). Contributed to the development of the post-conflict education sector inception report that informed the drafting of the current 2011 Education Reform Act.
Diligently served the National Elections Commission in two key capacities. As Special Assistant to the Chairman, effectively managed the office of the Chairman and made it responsive to the needs of the Commission. Coordinated the support of regional bodies including ECOWAS, African Union (AU) and the Mano River Union (MRU) to the NEC. Developed and submitted to ECOWAS with the consent of the Commission, a half million-dollar (US$500.000.00) project proposal and secured funding. The funds supported gender mainstreaming, civic and voter education, and the referendum. He scrupulously managed the full implementation of the project and reported to ECOWAS through the Government. Prepared a comprehensive inception report and presided over the first major staff retreat that prepared the Commission for the 2011 elections.
As Director of Civic Education and with the support of UNDP, he conducted the first survey ever on the knowledge level of Liberians on the electoral process. The findings and comprehensive report were presented to the Government of Liberia. A major recommendation from the survey was a call for the government to establish by law, a National Civic Education Commission in keeping with Article 10 of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia with the aim of deepening citizens’ understanding of their roles, rights and responsibilities. Develop a national toolkit on civic and voter education to be used as a standard to facilitate civic and voter education initiatives in the country. The toolkit was also presented to the Government of Liberia. Negotiated and secured funding support from Waymark Infotech of South Africa to upgrade and modernize the results management system of the Commission. At no cost to the Liberia Government, about Two Million United States Dollars (2,000,000.00) was spent by Waymark Infotech on hardware, software and knowledge transfer to have the system that the Commission has in place today and managed by Liberians. On behalf of the people of Liberia, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in a special letter thanked Waymark Infotech, and the people of South Africa for the gesture. Mobilized, trained, and deployed actors from all spectrums of the society to periodically conduct civic and voter education to increase citizens participation in elections.
Under the auspices of ECOWAS, AU and MRU, he served as an expert on election observation and technical missions to Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria to observe, monitor and report on the electoral processes of those countries. Also underwent electoral management training in Ethiopia and Belgium with support from the AU and UNDP, respectively.
Served the Liberia National Commission on small Arms as Coordinator (Executive Director). As Head of the Secretariat and in addition to his core duties, he led the modernization of the Commission infrastructure, automation of arms marking and registration recordkeeping systems for all arm-bearing national security agencies and instituted Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to ensure accountability and effective management. Serve as Focal Point on Physical Security and Stockpile Management. Serve as Focal Point on the United Nations Program of Action (UNPOA) on Small Arms and Light Weapons and their Related Materials. Coordinated the preparation of two of Liberia’s reports to the UNPOA.
With support from ECOWAS, he participated in the senior executive management course in Physical Security and Stockpile Management (PSSM) for security executives from Africa conducted by the Bonn International Conversion Center (BICC) in Berlin, Germany. Served as panelist during preparations for the 2018 Convention of the UNPA in Lome, Togo. Participated in the Regional Security Meeting on the prevalence of locally made guns (Shotguns) in Bamako, Mali. Participated in the 2018 Convention of the UNPOA at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the United States of America.
In 2015, he received an award for Outstanding Service during the Great Gathering of the African Descent Lutherans in the Americas (ADLA) and Association of Liberian Lutherans in the Americas (ALLIA) in Baltimore, Maryland, in the United States.
He is married and blessed with three boys.