Liberian Journalist Wins National Leadership Award In The U.S.

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

November 22, 2002


Liberian journalist and author, Gabriel I.H. Williams, has won the prestigious National Leadership Award, which is presented by the National Republican Congressional Committee, for his leadership qualities.

Williams has also been appointed to serve the state of California on the Business Advisory Council, a high level committee comprising top business and community leaders, who will work with Congressional leaders in devising a plan of action for economic progress in the United States.

In a letter to Williams, dated November 18, 2002, Congressman Tom DeLay said: "Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with my assistant Carol Rennie on the phone … I was pleased to hear you have accepted to serve as an Honorary Chairman on our Business Advisory Council. Your knowledge and experience will be a critical resource."

Congressman DeLay, who is the House Majority Whip and Chairman of the Business Advisory Council, said Williams will be a valuable resource in dealing with issues affecting businesses in the country, such as debt reduction, tax reforms, elimination of business regulations, and cutting wasteful government spending.

Williams has replied Congressman DeLay, in which he thanked the National Republican Congressional Committee for his preferment. "I am humbled by my selection for the National Leadership Award, and I’m also deeply honored to be considered to serve on the prestigious Business Advisory Council.

"As an independent journalist and a small business owner, I would endeavor to project a critical and balanced position on the issues that should be addressed for improved conditions and the viability of small businesses, including minority businesses. Please be assured, Sir, that I would work to complement the Council’s efforts aimed toward inclusion for business development in all sectors of the American society."

Williams also said he hopes to use the opportunity to serve on the Council to get US policy makers to see the need to review US business policies toward Africa.

The journalist, who is author of the recently published book, LIBERIA: THE HEART OF DARKNESS, provided leadership in establishing The Inquirer newspaper in early 1991, after the infrastructure in Monrovia, including media facilities, were massively destroyed. This followed months of heavy fighting amongst various armed factions attempting to control the Liberian capital during the early period of the Liberian civil war. Under his leadership, The Inquirer became Liberia’s leading daily. He served for six years on the executive committee of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) as Assistant Secretary General, Secretary General, and Acting President, respectively. The PUL has been a leading organization advocating for press freedom, human rights and democratic reforms in Liberia. Williams and internationally-respected journalist and human rights activist Isaac D.E. Bantu were the leaders in organizing the Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA), an organization for journalists who mostly fled Liberia during the civil war and due to the brutal suppression of press freedom by Charles Taylor’s regime.

At 25, Williams became one of the youngest journalists to win the Daj Hammarskjold Memorial Fellowship, one of the most prestigious awards in international journalism, through which he served as a journalism scholar at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

After leaving Liberia during the period of the civil war due to death threats, Williams became Staff Writer of the Sacramento Observer Newspapers, and also served as editor of the Capital Gains, the publication of the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce (SBCC). He is widely traveled, and has benefited from a number of international media education programs.

He and his wife Neiko are co-owners of Gbor Enterprises, a small business aimed at import/export between the US and Africa, which is a member of the SBCC.

Meanwhile, the names of the honorees will be published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today.

For further information, please contact Gabriel Williams at (916) 362-9551 or email

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