Idrissa Kamara

Country: Sierra Leone
Sector: NGO
Job title: Political/Electoral Affairs Officer
Subject of study: Public Administration & Public Policy
Year of graduation: 2009
Type/Level of study: Post graduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

African Union Commission

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

I have been working at international level with several international organisations such as the United Nations, the African Union and Carter Center on issues electoral and democratic governance issues mostly in Africa.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

This was my career prior to attending the University of Exeter in 2008. I served as District Electoral Officer at national level in Sierra Leone from 2005 – 2008. I prefer this career even after graduating from Exeter because of its relevance to my academic field of study as well as the opportunity engage on policy issues relating to democracy and governance and working with diverse range of actors, for example, political leaders, civil society, development assistance community and ordinary citizens.

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

I was a member of the African-Caribbean Group.

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

Exposure to the various theories and practices of public policy making, democracy and democratisation and European political integration. The biggest highlight was the course on comparative public policy, specifically, the New Public Management theory and Policy Transfer debate.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

Excellent facilities and supportive staff and lecturers.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

Because of it’s high rating – rated among the top 10 universities in the UK, and excellent teaching staff.

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

Persistence, self-drive and commitment, and the ability to go beyond your comfort zone are some of the qualities that have been useful for my career.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

Stay attuned with developments in your field and build good professional network. It is a good career path that helps you understand and influence global policies.

What are your plans for the future?

Several: (1) strive to rise to the top executive position in my organisation; (2) pursue further study (PhD) in international relations or international politics – I love to be in the intersection between theory and practice; and (3) contribute to national development.


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