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Mr. Stephen Reuben Johnson

 A young man of humble beginning whose formative years was in the relegated quarters of society. He embodied and demonstrated the resilience and profound inclination of successful leaders whose determination toward personal development and societal progress could not be weighed down by the social, political and economic perils of the society he found himself growing up. Instead, the young Stephen saw himself as a leader of thought, a beacon of hope, a symbol of love, a magnet of unity, and a steward of trust among his colleagues.

Tmz Liberia Magazine.
People-centered Leader…

Stephen Johnson is a youth and student activist, pro-democracy advocate, human rights campaigner and community organizer. As an avid believer in the principles of people-centered leadership, his relatively young career is already a success story for many within Liberia and the world at large. It is a story of honesty, dedication and innovation typical of a mind that is result-driven. The inception of his early leadership career is characterized by immutable contributions made while serving in many positions including Senior Representative for the College of Business and Public Administration at the University of Liberia, Vice Chairman, Youth Empowerment Program (YEP), Co-Chairman for the Concern Student Movement of the University of Liberia (a conglomeration of all students groupings advocating for the reopening of the University following abrupt closure by the regime, Chairman for the Committee Organized for the Promotion of Education) and liaison between USAID and the University of Liberia authorities during the over US$250, 000 renovation exercise.  While at the University, he was involved with student advocacy, utilizing his God-given potential to help speak out against the ills in society and also bring to book the critical issues that affected his people.  In these activities, he sought to rekindle the hopes and aspirations of those who by this time had almost lost total faith not only in themselves but in their own society as a result of the hopeless situation and the irresponsible acts of national government.


Tmz Liberia Magazine
A prolific communicator and Public debater…

Zizou, as he is affectionately called, has a natural quality for effective communication and public debates. Using this ability selflessly to serve the youth and student community, he agreed to be  a panelist in the national youth debate to discuss the “Role of Youth in the Democratization Process” following 14 years of conflict organized by the National Democratic Institute (NDI), International Republican Institute (IRI) and the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY). Stephen also represented the entire university students’ body at several meetings with the then US Ambassador, in the capacity as spokesperson, to lobby for funds for the reopening of the institution. In addition, he represented the University of Liberia students on more than seven (7) occasions with the Chairman of the NTGL to discuss the reopening of the University of Liberia after a protracted closure. His public advocacy landed him a spot as one of the youth and students representatives on the Civil Society Movement of Liberia. Significantly too, he was a lead advocate for the position of Youth Representative to the National Transitional Legislative Assembly (NTLA), an unprecedented arrangement in the country’s history.

Tmz Liberia Magazine

Hardworking Employee…
Immediately after leaving the walls of UL in 2005, Stephen worked with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) “Youth Education for Life skill” and the “Youth for Truth” projects in various capacities including: Grant Database Assistant, Grant Development Officer, and Monitoring and Evaluation Officer. His outstanding services in these positions tremendously impacted the social development of young people and communities across Liberia. He was very successful in implementing the 3rd phase of the project which brought together over 50,000 young people from different communities within Liberia, helping to reintegrate them into the society, since most were active participants in our civil conflict, and was also the brainchild behind the “Youth for Truth” project which was geared towards creating a knowledge base for youth people and teaching them about the workings of the TRC. 

He also worked with several underprivileged communities across Montserrado County through life skills and community empowerment initiatives such as the building of latrines, water wells, and public schools rehabilitation. To date, there are thousands of people across the country that is a success stories as a result of these many interventions. He was privileged to travel to the United States in pursuit of higher education. While in the United States, Stephen worked as a Mortgage/Loan specialist with the US Bank Corporate Trust-a Fortune 500 company. He returned home to contribute his service to the development of his country.

Currently, he serves as Assistant Commissioner of Customs and Excise at the Ministry of Finance, one of the few young people ever trusted to serve in that capacity with direct oversight of the eleven (11) customs rural collectorates including: The Buchanan, Greenville, Harper, Toe Town, Butuo, Loguatuo, Ganta, Jorwah, Yealla, Mendicorma, and Bo Waterside collectorates. His position has allowed him gain better experiences while interacting with colleagues from across Africa and the world on regional integration, trade facilitation, peace and security, and land borders and sea port operations, etc. He recently represented Liberia as an Expert at the ECOWAS Council of Ministers meeting to discuss Liberia’s participation in the Common External Tariff (CET) and the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS). 

He was also selected as an Expert at the Mano River Union’s (MRU) Technical committee on Peace and Security-a gathering which brought together major security sector stakeholders from across the MRU basin. He has had many trainings some of which include: RC-T Awareness Training– 2011, Suspicious Activities Reporting (SAR) 2011, SAFE: Information Security Awareness 201, Anti-Money Laundering for ELAVON Europe 2011 (English), Corporate Treasury Awareness Training 2011, Identity Theft Red Flags 2011, and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) 2011.

A venerable “penpusher”…
tmz liberia Magazine
Mr. Stephen Johnson
Mr. Johnson incontrovertibly has the power of the pen. He has published several articles some of which include: Campaign period in Liberia: The need for a shift in the paradigm;, The Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Administration and my take: A deeper look; A flaw in governance and the case with the True Whig Party: A look from my lenses; A dedication to all of our young revolutionaries in the Liberian struggle; Love as the core of bonding“, What is the meaning of a true Humanitarian? In Liberia, The way I see it… And so Liberians, we are celebrating 163 years of existence?” Elections 2011, The Liberian story: Blessing or curse?; The Quest for Political Power: A need for Change!;, Liberia at 162: Shifting the paradigm;, “Youth Participation: The Key to Lasting Peace;, and “The Road to National Renewal: A Liberian Scenario;

Husband and Academician…
He is married with kids and holds a Bachelor of Science degree (BSc.) in Economics and a Master Degree (MBA, Highest Honors) in Finance. He is also pursuing a dual Masters in Public Administration (MPA) and Non-Profit Management (MNM) at Hamline University and currently enrolled at the Penn State University reading another Master in Public Policy.



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