Director General, Cabinet Secretariat, Liberia
Focus: Centers of Government
Topics: Improving cabinet efficiency, Political liaison, Preparation of policy papers and choices
Keywords: Africa Governance Initiative, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia, preparation of policy papers and choices, political liaison, improving cabinet efficiency
Interviewer(s): Michael Scharff
Country of Reform: Liberia
Location: Monrovia, Liberia
Date: Wed May 2 2012
Momo Rogers describes his work as Director General of Liberia’s Cabinet Secretariat. He traces the changes he made to improve the cabinet’s processes and his office’s relationships with the ministers. Staff from the African Governance Initiative (AGI) helped throughout the work he describes. His first order of business for the new ministry was shortening cabinet meetings. He implemented processes such as including indicative timing in the meeting’s agenda, producing a manual for cabinet ministers, and improving communication with the cabinet, and he details each change in this interview. By providing two to five page summaries of the lengthy policy documents, Rogers says he helped the cabinet ministers be more prepared for their meetings, make their work more efficient. As he explains, he improved the communication between the Cabinet Secretariat and the ministers by utilizing email and text messaging as well as by establishing personal relationships. He describes the trust and positive working relationships he set up, and how these contribute to his working and the cabinet’s overall functioning. For the future of the Cabinet Secretariat, Rogers hopes in addition to maintain their role as a facilitator, his office can be more involved in policy planning, particularly the early stages. In describing his own work, he talks about fostering a positive, productive relationship between the president and the cabinet and between the president and him, which he says improves as he becomes more familiar with those with whom he works.
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Momo Rogers was Director General of the Cabinet Secretariat at the time of this interview, after President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf called him to this position in 2009. Prior to this homecoming, Rogers was a journalism professor at several U.S. institutions, including Middle Tennessee State University and Delaware State College (now Delaware State University). He had previously taught at the University of Liberia, where he developed the department of Mass Communication. Early in his career he worked at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs, and Tourism. He received his doctorate in journalism and mass communication from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, with an emphasis on international communication and media history. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from Ohio State and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Lincoln University.