As the 2017 legislative and presidential campaign heats up, the political leader of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC) is today queued to be known as one of the 2017 presidential candidate, his quest for the people of Liberia is highlighted in this column.
Mr. Alexander B. Cummings, Jr. is a Liberian humanitarian, philanthropist and a proven business leader who was born at the Liberian Government Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia. With his family humble roots from Maryland County, his parents enrolled him in Monrovia Demonstration Elementary School. He attended high school at the College of West Africa, where he participated in various social and intellectual clubs and served yearly as a class officer including first as class senator, then treasurer and eventually senior class president.
After graduation from high school, he matriculated to Cuttington University College for two years before leaving for the United States to further his studies at the Northern Illinois University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Economics. Dedicated to his roots, he returned to Liberia and worked at Liberian Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) as an analyst.
He returned to the United States to further his studies and earned an MBA in Finance from Atlanta University (currently Clark-Atlanta University). After his MBA, he joined The Pillsbury Company in the U.S. where he climbed through the ranks, eventually becoming Vice President of Finance for Pillsbury International. There, he had financial responsibility for a growing $1.2 billion international branded food business with operating companies in 16 countries.
Mr. Cummings joined The Coca-Cola Company, the world’s largest beverage manufacturer, in 1997 as Region Manager, Nigeria. In 2000, he was named President of the Company’s North & West Africa Division. In March 2001, he became President and Chief Operating Officer of the Africa Group, responsible for the Company’s operations in Africa, encompassing a total of 56 countries and territories across the continent. In 2008, he was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of The Coca-Cola Company and has served in that capacity since that time. As CAO, he leads a structure that consolidates key global corporate functions to effectively support the business operations of The Coca-Cola Company’s five operating groups across over 200 countries.
Mr. Cummings has a long history of philanthropy and supporting Liberia globally; supporting funding for water projects and providing students scholarships in Liberia, and donating to various causes including the African Methodist Episcopal University’s Innovation Center named in his honor. In 2011, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf conferred on Mr. Cummings the distinction of Knight Great Band – Humane Order of African Redemption; the medal is one of the highest honors in Liberia and is awarded for humanitarian work in Liberia, for acts supporting and assisting the Liberian nation. He recently launched the Cummings Africa Foundation, and facilitated the construction and dedication of a self-named STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic) academic institution, the first of its kind in Liberia.
Mr. Cummings currently serves on the boards of Chevron, C.A.R.E. and Clark Atlanta University. He also is a board member of S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. and Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, a publicly traded bottler of The Coca-Cola Company (NASDAQ). He is a member of the Executive Leadership Council.
In addition, Mr. Cummings has previously served on the following boards; The African Presidential Archives & Research Center, Corporate Council on Africa, African-America Institute, Africare, and the following bottling partner entities of The Coca-Cola Company: Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company, Coca-Cola Sabco (Pty.) Ltd., Equatorial Coca-Cola Bottling Company, and The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Egypt.
Mr. Cummings is happily married to Mrs. Teresa Cummings and they have been together for 34 years. Together they have two children – Ayo and Boikai Cummings and a loving granddaughter, Nyah
His interest to be a part of the Liberian political drama and taking the leadership mantle of Liberia, Africa’s oldest republic has been welcomed by Liberians many of whom who spoke to our reporter prior to the write-up of this profile.
His Presence in Liberia and quest of taking Liberia to the next level when elected to lead Liberians and their beloved country has also made many of his admirers to throw their weight behind him.
His quest for the presidency is the order of the day.