|Ambassador Al-Hassan Conteh Gets Honorary Degree From His Alma Matter|
The University of Liberia (UL) was abuzz with festivity and excitement yesterday, December 16 2015, when hundreds of candidates from the graduate and professional schools and their families and friends participated in the 96th Commencement Convocation of the University.
A dispatch from the Liberian Embassy in Abuja says Ambassador Dr. Al-Hassan Conteh and four other prominent distinguished UL Alumni and UL Presidents, including Former Interim President Prof. Amos Sawyer, Prof. Frederick Gbegbe, Dr. Ben Roberts and Dr. Patrick L. N. Seyon received the Doctor of Humane Letters (Honoris Causa) in international relations and education from their Alma mater.
In his letter of invitation, the President of the University of Liberia, Professor Emmet Dennis, informed Dr. Conteh that he was being honored because of his role in redeveloping the University at a very difficult time in the history of Liberia’s flagship institution of higher learning.
Ambassador Conteh served as the President of UL between 2004 and 2008. He is credited for rebuilding a strong foundation of the University, including finalizing the plans under the partnership of the Governments of Liberia and China for the construction of new buildings at the UL Fendall Campus, working with USAID and the Chinese Embassy in Monrovia to refurbish and equip the engineering building of the Fendall campus, initiating a Summer Faculty Institute, establishing relations between the UL with major United States universities, and starting an endowment fund for the University with the Trustees of Donation for Education in Liberia, based in Boston, USA.
After the conferral of degrees, Ambassador Conteh announced on behalf of the Global Paint for Charity, which he serves as Goodwill Ambassador, a donation of one container of paints towards the UL’s campaign to revamp its buildings and grounds.
The Convocation Program cited the following accomplishments of this distinguished son of Liberia:
“Your Excellency Prof. Dr. Al-Hassan Conteh, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Liberia to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and you are Liberia’s Permanent Representative to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Prior to those positions, you served as President of the University of Liberia (UL) from 2004 to 2008. Before that, you were Research Fellow at the Solomon Asch Center for the Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict, at the University of Pennsylvania, USA, from January 2001 to December 2004. During that period, you served as Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania and Temple Universities in Philadelphia, USA, where he taught courses respectively about Understanding African Conflicts and African Development.
Between 1996 and 2000, you served as the Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Liberia. While serving as Vice President at the University, you also served as Project Director United States Institute for Peace’s project on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) curriculum for post war Liberian institutions. The UL and the Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution of California State University, USA, jointly implemented that project.
Between June 1995 and September 1997, you served as the Director of the Demographic Unit, of the UL, where you managed a UNFPA, post-conflict education grant and helped in the development a population studies curriculum and research program in collaboration with Government of Liberia’s ministries, NGOs and UN agencies, within the context of the UN Conference on Population and Development.
From February 1995 to May 1995, you worked for the UNDP Liberia as Transfer of Knowledge Through Expatriate National (TOKTEN) Consultant at the University of Liberia.
Prof. Dr. Al-Hassan Conteh, you hold a Ph.D. degree in Regional Science from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Arts degree in Demography from the University of Pennsylvania, and another Master of Philosophy degree in Demography from the United Nations Cairo Demographic Center, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography and Demography from the University of Liberia.
On the African Continent, you are well known for your work in the promotion of development and improvement of lives. For example between 1987 and 988, you worked as Senior Project Officer at the International Foundation for Education and Self Help (IFESH) in Philadelphia, PA, USA. At IFESH, you assisted with the management of education, skills training, and agricultural training and development programs in eight sub-Saharan African countries. You conducted project proposals and cost benefit studies, assisted with the development of leadership training projects, provided first level review of project proposals submitted for funding by African private volunteers and donor organizations.
Therefore, in recognition of your remarkable contributions and relentless efforts to improve lives and education in Liberia, Africa and the USA, the Board of Trustees, upon the recommendation of the Faculty Senate, the President of the University of Liberia, has herewith approved the conferral upon you, Prof. Dr. Al-Hassan Conteh, the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.) Honoris Causa in International Relations. Congratulations!”