2015 Virtual Commencement

Alumni of the Year

Tamba D. Aghailas
Bachelor's Degree Business Administration

Tamba D. Aghailas has dedicated his career to advocacy for the refugees and disenfranchised citizens of Africa. Most recently, he spent a year working for BRAC in his native country, Liberia, as Country Head, Human Resources and Program Operations, endeavoring to strengthen economic recovery efforts and community building after the nation's 15 years of civil war.

Himself a survivor of the Liberian civil war, as a young man Tamba moved intermittently between various nations during outbreaks of fighting. Arrested on several occasions by rebel groups, he was fortunate to survive an attempted execution and took refuge in Guinea for 10 years until war once again forced him to flee, this time to the U.S.

He came to the United States on a student visa sponsorship, earning an Associate's in Science and a Bachelor's in Business Administration from Berkeley College, where he served as President of the International Students Association and was a member of the Men's Soccer team. He later earned a Master's in Public Administration from Baruch College, the City University of New York.

Before joining BRAC, Tamba held positions with the International Rescue Committee and The Voice of Liberia, an organization he founded to promote the socioeconomic rights of the women and children of Liberia.

Tamba's work with BRAC focuses on alleviating poverty by empowering the poor and helping them to bring about positive change. It is the largest development organization in the world, touching the lives of an estimated 135 million people.

During Tamba's year in Liberia, he tackled an enormous health crisis as ebola ravaged the nation. He took a lead role in efforts to coordinate emergency health measures and develop protocols across the country's health system. Now back in the U.S. and living in New York City, he is continuing to strategize policies that address the public health crisis. He has also shared his story and insights with current Berkeley students as a guest lecturer.

For his unwavering commitment to service, his self-sacrifice, his bravery in the face of unimaginable human struggle and his extraordinary fight to empower the powerless, Berkeley College is proud to honor Tamba D. Aghailas with the 2015 Alumni of the Year Award.

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