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Alumni Spotlight: Joseph Toumed (2020 MPP)'s Path from KDI School to Government Appointment

  • Date 2024-04-02 09:20
  • CategoryStory
  • Hit255

It is always a pleasure to witness amazing success stories of our alumni making a difference in the world. One such inspiring story is that of Joseph Toumed, a former student who was recently appointed by the government of his country, Liberia. I had the opportunity to sit down with him for an interview to learn more about his journey from student to government official. Below is the inspiring conversation.

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Joseph Toumed. I studied public policy at the KDI School with a concentration in Finance and Macroeconomics Policy. I am from Liberia. Before going to KDIS, I worked at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, specifically in the Department of Macroeconomic Policy. In that unit, I was assigned to the Office of the Minister for Macroeconomic Policy. I served in the role of an economist, where I was responsible for data management and macroeconomic issues. I came to KDIS in 2020 (the Covid year) and when I returned to my country, I worked in the same office. After a while, I was seconded to another unit in the IFMIS (Integrated Financial Management Information System); the system that is responsible for finance allotment, including general salary payments across government agencies. I served in that unit as a financial management officer.

Also, since I returned to Liberia, I have been teaching part-time at the University of Liberia, at the Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, where I impart knowledge to undergraduate students. I also have another master's in agri-economics. I am privileged to have diverse experiences in agriculture, finance, and economics.

Due to my performance in my previous roles, I was appointed by the president of Liberia to serve as deputy director general at the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI). This is a research institution that is responsible for the agricultural sector in Liberia. I am honoured by this opportunity to serve my country in this capacity.

What skills did you learn in KDIS that you carry on to your new appointment?

KDIS has been very instrumental in my life’s path. My perspectives broadened, and my critical policy analysis skills greatly improved by attending this graduate school. The specific skills I have learnt include management skills, financial reporting, and policy analysis among many others. During my studies, I took a course: Policy Process Analysis. The knowledge from this course will be useful in carrying out my role at CARI. I guess it is safe for me to say that KDIS played a key role in paving the way for me to get appointed to my current position.

Is there any policy that you're looking forward to implementing? 

Yes, when I read the strategic plan for CARI, I identified some weaknesses in human resource management. So, I look forward to creating and implementing a comprehensive revision on that aspect of the policy. The core focus of the policy will include recruiting competent researchers and building human resource capacity. Without efficient human capital, you won't be able to produce quality results. 

What was your favourite memory at KDIS?

Unfortunately, it was COVID year, so there were not many activities that we could do outside. However one of the memories that I remember is doing collaborative work in a group study room. After that, we went for lunch together. It was an exciting time with different people having different perspectives, studying, laughing and having fun.

Your appointment has been a source of inspiration to many people at KDIS. Do you have any personal practical tips or advice for them?

Yes, the first thing is you need to stay positive for yourself.  Whatever you do, do it with commitment because you don't know who is watching you. I have been working hard and diligently throughout the past years. I did not know I would get appointed by the President, but I kept being diligent and at the right time, my hard work paid off. Also, make sure to produce quality results. 

Joseph's journey from a student to a top government official is a testament to his hard work, dedication, and passion for public service. His story serves as an inspiration to current students showing them that with determination and perseverance, they can achieve their dreams and make a difference in the world.

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ANZAKU, Faith Asheadzi

2024 Spring / MPP / Nigeria

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