- © 2016 Tamzin B. Smith
Growing up in Liberia during a civil war, Minty Abraham Wade ’04 understood from a young age the importance of protection for refugees in times of crisis. Now as a senior analyst with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the former political science major implements strategies to protect civilians and appropriate much-needed resources for struggling refugee populations in the Middle East and Asia.
During her time with USAID’s Office of Strategic and Program Planning, Minty has revisited the nightmare she endured as a child through the intense violence of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a dangerous rebel sect that waged a campaign of terror. “As a survivor of a brutal civil war who spent a significant portion of my life as a refugee, I know all too well the plight of women and children affected by the atrocities committed by the LRA,” Wade says. “As their strongest ally and advocate, I have successfully lobbied to have civilian protection considerations factored prominently into all military operations, which helped lessen reprisal attacks against civilians.”
She says she now speaks for those who cannot speak for themselves. “Because of instability in Africa and the Middle East, global leaders are now confronting the worst displacement crisis since World War II,” Wade says. “I would like to capitalize on my past experiences to inform and shape U.S. foreign policy related to conflict in Africa as well as the global migration crisis.”
Abraham says her professors and peers at Washington College helped to reinforce the importance and value of public service, which dovetails with her career in foreign affairs and international development. Professors Dan Premo, Melissa Deckman, and Tahir Shad were most influential, she says, in preparing her for life after college.
“They challenged my assumptions, provided opportunities for me to hone my skills, and provided substantive feedback, even during the most trying times.”
Wade earned a master’s degree in international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh before entering the federal system with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). She previously served USAID as the Country Development Officer for Uganda.