With heavy hearts, the Kawah, Nivens, Glapion, Fountila, JDK Baker, and Gbanya families come together to announce the passing of Ambassador Lami Kawah, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin, and distinguished diplomat. He died peacefully on May 20, 2023 at his home in San Jose, California.
Remarkable achievements and selfless service defined Ambassador Kawah’s life. An accomplished international economist, he was dedicated to the betterment of Liberia, his homeland, and to the advancement of international cooperation. Ambassador Kawah began his governmental career in the Liberian Planning and Economic Ministry during the mid-1960s, becoming Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs in 1968. Between 1975 to 1977, he held the title of Deputy Minister for Planning and Economic Affairs and in 1998 he returned to government service as Liberia’s Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs. From 2001 to 2006, he was the Permanent Representative of Liberia to the United Nations.
Ambassador Kawah’s expertise also extended to the world of multinational business. His work in iron ore mining ventures across West Africa displayed his commitment to economic development and sustainable progress. His management and consulting roles included LAMCO Joint Venture Company — a mining operation owned by Granges International Mining, Bethlehem Steel, and the Government of Liberia — and management and consulting positions with the African Mining Corporation.
He was predeceased by parents J. Mambu and Mary Kawah, brothers Walter and Armah, and sister Nmano. He was a loving husband of 55 years to Zandra Glapion Kawah; a caring father to Sundafu and Rockhaya and to son-in-law Leo Fountila; a cherished grandfather to Sade, Pauletta, and Zandra; and a steadfast pillar to his siblings James, Varney, Miatta, Weyah and Dabbah; nieces and nephews Robert, Mambu, Massa, Hawah, Walter, Torsten, Weyah, Sando, Delight, Mollivee, Robert, Cyrus, Selvina and Alvina; sister-in-law Yolandra Glapion; and cousins J. Willy Moore, Edward Kawah, the Gbanya family, and the JDK Baker family. He is mourned by other relatives and many dear friends throughout the United States and Liberia.
In honor of Ambassador Lami Kawah’s extraordinary life, a private memorial lunch will be held in the Spring of 2024. This gathering will celebrate his legacy of diplomacy, dedication, and love for humankind