Amb. Bobby Whitfield – Chairman & CEO, National WASH Commission
Bobby’s interesting experiences began when he narrowly escaped the Liberian civil war in 1990. Bobby’s refugee experiences encouraged him to spend his life serving others. Determined to fight the poverty and abuse experienced by refugees and those in refugee liked situations he pursued a career in teaching with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) School System for Liberian and Sierra Leonean refugees where he taught for four years before moving to Conakry to teach English as a Second Language to business professionals and students at the Universite’ De Kofi Annan. Bobby was resettled along with his siblings to Australia in July 2003.
In Australia Bobby built an impressive career in community development. He worked as Community Development Coordinator at Brisbane City Council, Senior Community Development Officer at Multicultural Development Association, and Visiting Settlement Advisor to Australian Cultural Orientation (AUSCO) Program.
In December 2011, Bobby became the first Liberian from a refugee background to graduate with a Master of Development Practice (MDP) degree from the University of Queensland.
Bobby was elected to the Board of the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) 2008 and served till 2016. Bobby is also a motivational speaker and served as a guest presenter on refugee issues, experiences, concerns, and aspirations at the University of Queensland for the Australia-Indonesia governmental collaboration on immigration training.
Bobby was a member of the Queensland Government Multicultural Community Ministerial Advisory Committee (MCMAC) from 2008 – 2010. Bobby also provided advice to the Federal Government of Australia Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade inquiry into Australia’s relationship with the countries of Africa.
Bobby is a founding member and inaugural President of the Queensland African Communities Council (QACC). Bobby also served as President of the Liberian Association of Queensland and President of the Federation of Liberian Communities in Australia (FOLICA) respectively.
Bobby has won numerous awards and in September 2013 was named Multicultural Ambassador for the State of Queensland. This honour recognizes Bobby’s outstanding and sustained commitment to promoting the values of multiculturalism and harmonious community relations. The recipient of this prestigious award is recognized as a noteworthy champion for multiculturalism in Queensland.
Through it all, Bobby never forgot home and maintained that his greatest and most impactful contributions will be to give back to Liberia. He used his networks, positions, and influence in Australia to advocate for Liberia with many tangible results.
Bobby is a founding member and strategist of CDC – Australia. Bobby moved back home in 2017 to actively participate and meaningfully contribute to the development of Liberia. Bobby was appointed by H. E. President George Weah in August 2018 as Liberia’s very first Commissioner/Chairman and CEO of the newly established National Water Sanitation and Hygiene Commission with the mandate to promote and regulate the development, management of water, sanitation, and hygiene services and serves as the principal government entity on water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) throughout the Republic of Liberia.
Salia O. Kamara – Executive Director, National WASH Commission
Salia has an unyielding desire to achieve a high standard of work in everything he does. He is an extremely confident, assertive, and organized individual who has the ability to prioritize workloads to meet tight deadlines. In his current role, he has gained a reputation for improving operational efficiency and maximizing growth by ensuring that everyone within his team knows how important his/her role is to the National WASH Commission’s overall success. He is a Success-driven, visionary, and highly committed professional equipped with a broad background in providing top-notch leadership and services within nonprofit and corporate organizations. Moreover, he is an intellectual and politically astute individual who can assist his team in the development and implementation of both short- and long-term goals. He has a solid foundation of understanding the Liberian society based on his broad spectrum of working with cross-sections of Liberians at different levels from his tender age. His dream is to see a prosperous Liberia void of Religious, Economic, Ethnic, and Political affiliations.
Salia grew up in one of the densely populated areas in Liberia, specifically in the City of Paynesville – a suburb of Monrovia where he has significantly contributed to the growth and development of young people. He has a humble beginning that continues to brighten his path in seeking many opportunities- ranging from his High School days up to the present. He believes that one of the patriotic duties for every Liberian citizen is to serve his/her country and make significant impacts through suitable ventures. It’s from this background that his concept of understanding the governance process was enlightened when he served the constituents of then-District # 7 now District # 2 & 5 Montserrado County in the office of Hon. Thomas P. Fallah at the Honorable House of Representatives, 52nd National Legislature, Republic of Liberia.
Salia has gained his space in our society through upholding the principles of Humility, Loyalty, Trust, Confidence, Hard work, Confidentiality, and above all Religious Tolerance. He has acquired specialized Parliamentary, Leadership, and Governance training at different fronts, all in the best interest of serving his country.
Salia hasn’t forgotten his background from whence he has come, as such; he has a mini–Educational Endowment Program, which helps cross-sections of deserving and underprivileged citizens and institutions at a different level. Salia is an Alumnus of the University of Liberia, where he acquired an undergraduate degree in Sociology and a minor in Demography.
Currently, he is pursuing his double Master’s Programs at the Cuttington University School of Graduate and Professional Studies (Pursuing Post Graduate studies in Public Sector Management) and University of Liberia (Pursuing Post Graduate Studies in Public Health) respectively. He believes in supporting youth and student initiatives in molding the minds of Liberia’s next generation.
Finally, As the frontline manager of the Secretariat of the National Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Commission of Liberia, the administrative organ responsible for running the day-to-day activities of the Commission, I have the honor on behalf of the Directors, Supervisors, Managers, and entire staff of the Secretariat to assure H.E Dr. George Manneh Weah President of the Republic of Liberia, the Chairman and members of the Governing Board, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Amb. Bobby Whitfield, Liberia’s Development Partners and the citizenry of our country the secretariat unceasing commitments to deliver on the goals, targets, and objectives set in the National WASH Commission five-year strategic plan and the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) seven high-level WASH targets as enshrine in 3.5.5 of Pillar 2.