Dr. Kimmie Weeks

Position: Founder and Executive Director of Youth Action International (YAI)
Country: Liberia
Dr. Kimmie Weeks has worked to alleviate poverty and human suffering in Africa and around the world since he was fourteen years old. Kimmie was born in Liberia 1981. When he was nine, Kimmie came face to face with civil war, human suffering, and death.  

Over the years, Kimmie has formed partnerships and led organizations that have provided education to thousands of students in West Africa, lobbied the disarmament of tens of thousands child soldiers, and provided rehabilitation, skills training and employment opportunities to youth who have been affected by war.  

In 1998, Kimmie Weeks investigated and released a groundbreaking report on the Liberian government’s involvement in the training children as soldiers.    As a result, former Liberian President Charles Taylor made several attempts to assassinate him until he fled Liberia and was granted political asylum in the United States. 

Once he came to the United States, Dr. Kimmie Weeks established an International organization called Youth Action International to support the needs of families living in post war countries.   Youth Action International’s programs have benefited more than 200,000 people in six post war African countries by providing vocational training, rebuilding education systems, providing micro-lending, and encouraging young people to invest in agriculture.  

Kimmie Weeks is the recipient of the 2007 Golden Brick Award which honors young people under 25 years old who are working to change the world.   Also in 2007, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf presented Kimmie with Liberia’s highest honor by decorating him Knight Grand Commander in the Humane Order of African Redemption.   Kimmie is the youngest recipient of this honor. He is also featured in the new book Peace in Our Lifetime as an international peacemaker, along with Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr.  In 2008, MTV Canada and Discovery Chanel International profiled Kimmie’s work as part of a new reality series called 4REAL.  In 2009, CNN International profiled Kimmie’s life and work for a 30 minute African Voices series. 

Kimmie Weeks received his bachelors from Amherst College, his Masters from the University of Pennsylvania, and an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Amherst College.  Kimmie Weeks currently holds key positions in three sectors.  He serves as Executive Director of Youth Action International, as an executive for Cellcom (one of Liberia’s larges GSM companies, and has recently been appointed by Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as Chairman for Liberia’s Water and Sanitation Corporation.  In addition, Kimmie Weeks serves as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council and as a Young Global Leader.  He remains a vocal advocate for the rights of child soldiers and former child soldiers in sub-Saharan Africa.   

FUN FACT:  Kimmie’s photo and bio is profiled on 20 million bags of cool ranch Doritos.