Samuel Kofi Woods
Minister of Public Works, Liberian Cabinet
Focus: Civil Service
Topics: Corruption in the Civil Service, Depoliticization
Keywords: activism, anti-corruption, capacity building, consensus building, depoliticization, donor relations, merit-based recruitment, patronage, performance management, training, post-conflict governance
Interviewer(s): Graeme Blair
Country of Reform: Liberia
Location: Ministry of Public Works, Monrovia, Liberia
Date: Tue Jul 21 2009
Contact Innovations for Successful Societies for a copy of the audio file.
At the time of this interview, Samuel Kofi Woods was the Liberian Minister of Public Works, having been appointed to the position in 2009. A youth activist since the age of 11, Woods went on to become a well-known champion of human rights, receiving the Reebok’s Human Rights Award in 1994 and the Benerementi Medal in 1999. Woods established the Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Church in Liberia in November 1991, and played a leading role in documenting and publicizing human rights abuses during the 1989-1997 civil war. His efforts in this regard included the creation of the Forefront Organization in 1994, an international advocacy and support network. Woods also set up the Foundation for International Liberty, an international non-governmental human rights organization with offices in Sierra Leone and Liberia. In 2006, Woods became the Minister of Labor under President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. He held this position until his appointment to the Ministry of Public Works in 2009.