Dr. Foday Jaward becomes head of the Sierra Leone EPA

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Dr. Foday Moriba Jaward, a USF College of Public Health (COPH) associate professor of environmental and occupational health, was recently appointed by the democratically elected president of his native country, Sierra Leone, to lead that nation’s Environmental Protection Agency.

Jaward, whose official title is executive chairman-Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), was approved by the country’s parliament and will report directly to Sierra Leone’s president, His Excellency Julius Maada Bio.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for me to serve my native country and to create a strong and lasting relationship between Sierra Leone and the COPH,” said Jaward, who plans on creating internships for COPH students, exchange programs for faculty and staff and collaboration between the COPH and the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health.

Foday Jaward, PhD, has been appointed EPA Executive Chairman for his native Sierra Leone. (Photo courtesy of USF Health)

In addition to protecting and improving the quality of Sierra Leone’s environment via issuing environmental permits, ensuring compliance with environmental procedures, conducting investigations into potential environmental transgressions and promoting studies and research on a sound ecological system, Jaward, an expert in persistent organic pollutants and ambient air quality, plans on working collaboratively with USF on a number of agenda items. Some of these include developing a national Climate Change Act for Sierra Leone, creating an action plan to meet international environmental commitments and integrating environmental and climate change education into the nation’s school curriculum.

Jaward credits his background in research, data analysis and global experience with giving him the expertise for the job.

Dr. Jaward taking an oath during the presentation of his documents in Sierra Leone. (Photo courtesy of the Standard Times Press)

“Over the last two decades I have focused my professional interests on the science and management of chemical pollutants in the environment,” explained Jaward. “I have gained an in-depth knowledge on the sources, fate, behavior, remediation, policy and management of these pollutants and their effects. I have established working relationships with people in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic global environment. And I have acquired important skills for successfully managing and supervising various funded research projects.”

Jaward will begin his three-year tenure soon. He will take an extended leave of absence from his faculty position starting August 1.

“I have enjoyed my stay here at the COPH and hope to maintain the excellent relationships I have established with colleagues both within the college and USF as a whole,” he said.

Story by Donna Campisano, USF College of Public Health