March 13, 1977|
|Alma mater||The College of New Jersey|
|Occupation||Founder of MacDella Cooper Foundation, Presidential Candidate|
MacDella Cooper (born March 13, 1977) is a Liberian philanthropist and founder of the MacDella Cooper Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and women in Liberia. In October 2016, Cooper announced her intention to run for the Presidency of Liberia in the 2017 Liberian National Elections.
Cooper was born in Monrovia and lived in Liberia at the outbreak of the First Liberian Civil War. The war forced Cooper into exile in neighboring Côte d’Ivoire where she spent her early teenage years as a refugee before migrating to the United States in 1993. She attended and graduated from Barringer High School in Newark, New Jersey, where she was one of the top-ranked students in her class, and subsequently earned a full scholarship to The College of New Jersey. Cooper earned a degree in Communications.
Cooper began her professional career as fashion model and planner and worked extensively in New York City, Paris, London and Milan. Cooper modeled for clients such as Ralph Lauren and Jones Apparel and appeared regularly in publications such as Glamour and Marie Claire.
MacDella Cooper Foundation and Academy
In 2003, Cooper launched the MacDella Cooper Foundation, a nonprofit working in service of underprivileged children and women in Liberia. In December 2010, the MacDella Cooper Foundation opened the first school in Liberia to offer free tuition, including room and board. Located in Charlesville, Margibi County, Liberia, the school, the MacDella Cooper Academy currently houses 80 Students, aged 4 to 13 years. The school's building was designed by award-winning Dutch-American architect Winka Dubbeldam.
Cooper announced her intention to run for President of Liberia in the 2017 elections. If successful, she would become the continent's fourth elected female head of state. Given the work of the MacDella Cooper Foundation in improving educational and economic outcomes for children, and noting Liberia's large youth population, Cooper places education central among her campaign pillars. Citing her campaign website, these pillars include: Free Childhood Education, Universal Healthcare, Growth of the National Electric Grid, Decentralization in and Land Ownership.
Cooper lives in Monrovia, Liberia with her three children, Ella-Dean, Hilareal-George and Primo-Mateo. Cooper's husband, Thomas Tafuto, died from cancer in 2013. The fathers of two of her children are former Citigroup CEO Richard Parsons, and former professional football player George Weah.
- First 2017 Female Presidential Aspirant, Liberia Daily Observer, October 28, 2016
- Meet MacDella Cooper, the former refugee running to be Liberia's next female president, International Business Times UK, November 16, 2016
- MacDella Cooper: on finding your calling, Woman Change Maker | an eMagazine about women driving social change, April 3, 2015
- MacDella Cooper Hosts Champions Of Education Benefit, Hamptons.com, July 28, 2009
- ZEN Magazine: Top 10 African Women Of The Year For 2013, January 6, 2016
- MacDella Cooper Academy website
- List of elected and appointed female heads of state
- How presidential candidate MacDella Cooper wants to turn around Liberia's future, International Business Times, November 28, 2016
- Liberia: Overcoming Challenges–Past, Present, and Future," Speech by Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund, Liberia's youth population cited at 65% of population in 2015 by IMF head Christine Lagarde