Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongloe, the esteemed leader of the Liberian People’s Party, is set to make an official announcement regarding his running mate, Dr. Emmanuel K. Urey Yarkpawolo. This significant decision will solidify their partnership as they strive to represent the people of Liberia.
Dr. Urey-Yarkpawolo, hailing from the influential Bong County, will be unveiled in a special event scheduled for the beginning of July 2023. This announcement marks the culmination of an extensive selection process, during which several other candidates were considered for the role.
Born in 1981 in Gomue Village near Shankpallai Town, Kpaquellie Clan, Zota District, Bong County, Dr. Emmanuel King Urey Yarkpawolo has a rich background rooted in his parents’ heritage. His father, Kpelekple Yarkpawolo, was a skilled tailor and one of the first in Bong County. From an early age, Dr. Urey-Yarkpawolo learned valuable life skills such as farming, fishing, and palm cutting from his father and aunt. They instilled in him a deep sense of purpose in helping others and the importance of honesty and gratitude.
His educational journey began at the age of nearly 14 when he started school in the Bheta Refugee Camp in Guinea in 1995. Before that, he briefly apprenticed as a traditional blacksmith under his father’s guidance. However, his passion for education led him back to the refugee camp, where he eventually enrolled in school.
Dr. Urey-Yarkpawolo’s academic achievements are commendable. He graduated as the top student and served as the Student Council President in 2005. He went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree from Cuttington University in 2008, followed by a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the same institution in 2011. His thirst for knowledge led him to pursue a Master’s of Science in Environment and Resources with a focus on Political Ecology in 2013. In 2018, he proudly obtained his Ph.D. in the same field from the esteemed University of Wisconsin-Madison. Additionally, he holds certificates in Leadership with Integrity from Les Aspin Center for Government in Washington D.C. and Management & Entrepreneurship from Columbia University in New York. In recognition of his expertise, he was appointed as an Honorary Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2020.
Dr. Urey-Yarkpawolo’s professional experience is equally impressive. He served as the country representative of Landesa Rural Development Institute, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to securing land rights for impoverished families. Additionally, he held the position of Liberia program director for Landesa in 2020. He also made significant contributions as a Senior Land Tenure Consultant at the Liberian Land Commission, where he worked alongside a team of researchers to study customary land tenure in Liberia. His dedication to land reforms continued during his time at the Nelson Institute, where he focused on researching customary land reforms.
Driven by a deep desire to give back to his homeland, Dr. Urey-Yarkpawolo founded One Life Liberia Inc. (OLLI) in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, in November 2017. This organization aims to provide education for underprivileged children in Liberia, offer agricultural support services, and develop employable skills for the youth. OLLI has already accomplished significant projects, including the construction of an elementary school in a remote area of Liberia. This school, known as the Yarkpawolo Public School, currently educates over 100 children, many of whom had never experienced formal education before.
Dr. Urey-Yarkpawolo’s dedication to improving the lives of his fellow Liberians extends beyond education. He has also been actively involved in community development initiatives, particularly in the field of agriculture. Through OLLI, he has implemented programs that provide agricultural training and support to local farmers, helping them increase their productivity and create sustainable livelihoods.
In recognition of his outstanding contributions, Dr. Urey-Yarkpawolo has received numerous accolades and awards. He was honored with the prestigious Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders in 2016, which allowed him to further expand his knowledge and network with other like-minded individuals from across the continent. He was also recognized as a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum in 2019, acknowledging his leadership and commitment to driving positive change in his community.
As Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongloe’s running mate, Dr. Emmanuel K. Urey-Yarkpawolo brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and a strong track record of service to the people of Liberia. His deep understanding of the country’s challenges and his passion for finding innovative solutions make him an invaluable asset to the Liberian People’s Party. Together, they are determined to bring about positive change, uplift the lives of all Liberians, and build a brighter future for the nation. The official announcement of their partnership in July 2023 will undoubtedly generate excitement and anticipation among the people, who are eager to see the transformative leadership they will bring.