This week we once again profile another Liberian who has vowed to bring relief to his people in his abide to capture the seat in the Senate for Montserrado County in the upcoming December 8, 2020 midterm senatorial elections.
Our profile of the week is no other but Mr. Isaac Vah Tukpah, Jr., also known as I. Vah. is married to Natalie Tukpah. He has four children: Yanita, Ivah, Peyton, & Nailah. Isaac was born in Cestos City, Rivercess County (formerly Rivercess Territory) to the union of Isaac Vah Tukpah, Sr. of Kpelle, Bassa, and Gio descent and Annie Dunn Tukpah of Americo-Liberian, Bassa, Vai, and Gola descent. He was raised in Monrovia in the Soniewehn and Snapper Hill/Rock Town areas. He attended elementary school at Cathedral School with a one year stint at Area C school in Yekepa, Nimba County. He attended junior high school at Carroll High School in Grassfield Nimba County. He attended the College of West Africa (CWA) for high school from whence he matriculated to Cuttington University (formerly Cuttington University College). He holds a B.Sc. in Economics from Cuttington University, magnum cum laude, and an M.B.A. from the University of Maryland Smith School of Business in the United States, magnum cum laude. He also completed all academic requirements for a degree in Monetary & Industrial Economics at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ but did not complete his thesis. He holds a current project management certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI).
Isaac is a Liberian who is very passionate about issues affecting Liberia. He subscribes to the fundamental philosophy of providing every Liberian the opportunity for an affordable living. His ultimate goals are to: increase the awareness of issues affecting Liberia; increase the level of patriotism amongst Liberians; create a higher level of self-respect for ourselves and respect for our fellow countrymen; ensure that we have social, economic, and political integration and equity; ensure transparency and accountability in government; and find solutions to the vexing development problems we face as a people.
Over the last 32 years, Isaac has been an advocate for fairness, justice, and equality. From his days as a student leader at Cuttington where he served as President of the Sports Association in his junior year and as the Student Representative in his senior year, he has embodied the qualities of leadership and advocacy. Since coming to the US in 1986, Isaac has consistently advocated with Congress for peace in Liberia, organized demonstrations against former Presidents Samuel Doe, Charles Taylor, warring factions, and Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf with regards to corruption and misrule. Isaac has worked with various organizations including the Liberian Community Association of the Greater Washington Metropolitan area, Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA), Liberians United for Peace and Development (LUPD), and the Coalition of Concerned Liberians. He has also worked with several non-profit organizations to provide assistance for Liberians.
Today, he heads the Liberian Emergency and Disaster Relief Fund (LEADER Fund), an organization he founded in August 2007 to assist Liberians who were primarily affected by disaster situations, specifically flooding during the monsoon-like rainy season and sea erosion. the Since that time, the LEADER Fund has evolved into an organization focused on supporting and enhancing the development of Liberia and assisting Liberians in dire emergency situations. The LEADER Fund is a 501 C3 non-profit tax exempt organization registered in the state of Maryland. The LEADER FUND is also a registered non-governmental organization in Liberia.
The LEADER Fund previously completed a project in which they partnered with Action Aid Liberia to deliver a container of 16,000 children, youth, and academic books and other miscellaneous items for needy students in Liberia. The Leader Funds also facilitated the process of soliciting funds to assist a Baby Victor Farley who was in dire need of surgery for abdominal issues restricting him from free bowel movement. Previous activities of the LEADER Fund included:
- Soliciting funds for and contributing to Sackie Nyanquoi who had acid viciously poured over his body during an armed robbery;
- Collaboration with and contribution to the Liberian Red Cross Project to assist citizens in Narwei, Bong County displaced by an attack by an unknown species of caterpillars;
- Donation to a family in Philadelphia, PA who suffered significant loss in a fire;
- Donations of medical supplies and medical books to Phoebe Hospital
- Creating awareness of Ebola and coordinating Ebola efforts among various organizations in the United States and shipping medical supplies to Liberia for use in the fight against Ebola.
Currently, the LEADER FUND has secured and shipped 14 pallets of medical supplies to Liberia. Those supplies will be distributed to Phebe Hospital and hospital and clinics in Montserrado County. Additionally, the LEADER FUND has two other projects in the pipeline. One is to provide solar lights for communities and homes on a limited basis. The second is to implement a Public Utility Sanitation House (PUSH) project that provides communal potable water for drinking, sanitation, and hygiene; solar energy for community use; and an agriculture field plot to produce reasonable priced nutrient dense vegetables for community consumption.
In line with his volunteerism and humanitarian efforts, Isaac also works with Child Steps International, CSI, an international and Liberian owned NGO with a presence in Liberia called Child Steps International Liberia, CSIL. CSI focuses on creating programs designed to prepare Africa’s young people to become leaders and change agents in their communities. Along with colleagues at CSI, Isaac helped write the civics book “LAW + YOU: RIGHTS & RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE LIBERIAN CITIZEN. Today, that book has been approved as the official civics text for Liberian schools effective the 2020-2021 school year.
He is currently the CEO of a Liberian owned firm called Sustainable Development International, Incorporated (SDII) based in the United States and Liberia. SDII focuses on bringing holistic development to Liberia through the use of renewable energy, water management, and agriculture with strong focus on the triple bottom line. SDII triple bottom line focuses on sustainable economic empowerment, social equity, and environmental protection. The SDII believes that triple bottom line directly relates to economic empowerment/profitability for the Liberian people, social equity for the Liberian people, and environmental protection of the Liberia’s eco-system, especially through the use of renewable energy and agricultural entrepreneurship. Isaac is also helping to organize farmers into cooperatives as well as growing seedlings for distribution to urban dwellers who would like to be trained in urban farming to assist with food security in Montserrado county. Professionally, he is a Senior Project/Program Manager with extensive experience in Healthcare Information Technology, Operations, and Finance. He has a strong background in program & project management, risk analysis and management, performance analysis, financial planning and analysis, business advisory, business development, and strategic planning.
Isaac is also involved in an effort to create a virtual internet community for all things Liberia within the larger platform of the Unified African Business Network (uabnlink.com). He is partnering with FusionMediaSoft to share this technology platform that allows individuals, organizations, governments, and global organizations to collaborate with the intent to connect AFRICANS from all parts of the globe.
Isaac is also a former Principal with continuing interest in iN2STEM, Solutions, Incorporated, a minority and veteran-owned small business enterprise based in Reston, VA. iN2STEM focuses on delivering solutions and results via partnerships & subcontracts with other small companies.
Isaac Vah is a former two-term Chairman of the Congress for Democratic Change USA branch, also known as CDC-USA. He joined the CDC in November 2009 and has served as Acting Financial Secretary, Deputy Chairman for Operations and Deputy Chairman for Administration. Isaac has resigned from the CDC and is an independent political actor. He is fully dedicated to working with all like-minded individuals and organization for the advancement and development of a BETTER Liberia. His development platform focuses on education, healthcare, water/sanitation/hygiene, agriculture, and tourism with women, youth, technology, and infrastructure cross-cutting those sectors. Overriding his agenda is his desire to see the integration of Liberians and the transformation of mindsets that will create a unified Liberia. Isaac is also insistent on the rule of law, transparency, accountability, and integrity.
As a Liberian and a leader within the Liberian Global Community, Isaac understands the needs of Liberia today and looks to fulfill those needs through non-profit, political, social, and personal activities. Mr. Tukpah makes all efforts to represent the interest of the Liberian people without any selfish intent.
Some of Isaac’s other accomplishments are:
- Advocated for the US to stop the war and ask Taylor to leave
- Advocated for Temporary Protective Stay (TPS) for Liberians
- Provided support to Liberians who were affected by flooding through the Liberian Red Cross
- Assisted Liberians who experienced disaster and serious problems get assistance
- Provided medical supplies during Ebola
- Created awareness among Liberians during Ebola
- Brought organizations together to work in the best interest of Liberians during that Ebola period
- Critique and solutions proffered to the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf government
- Helped organize a group of Diasporans to invest in agriculture in Liberia
- Right now I am collecting medical supplies to ship to Liberia
- Create awareness and provided educational information during COVID-19
- Organized effort to provide some buckets, rice, non-perishables, masks, and gloves for several groups (blind, Group of 77, orphanages, indigent Liberians, widows) and communities
FB: Vah Isaac Tukpah