LEDI combines passion, inspiration, honesty, integrity, dedication, ethics, competence, talents, and professionalism together to establish a leadership team that drives the success of this organization. LEDI goal is to be a trusted leader in poverty alleviation by ensuring economic development is achieved in our communities.
The Executive Team shall have the responsibility to successfully execute the organization’s mission and goal; and policies as determined by the Board of Directors. The team hires and manages staff, initiates and oversees major projects, directs our financial goals, establishes organizational policies, and communicates with the public.
President | CEO | Co-Founder of LEDI
Rufus Darkortey brings strong leadership qualities to LEDI. Prior to Co-Founding and serving as the leader of LEDI, he served as President of the Liberian Association of Cleveland and its Environs (LACE) for several years with distinction. He also served as student senator of the Student Government the Cleveland State University. He also currently serves as Vice President Black Alumni Organization at Cleveland State University; Liberian Ambassador for ClevelandPeople.com; and Liberian Ambassador representing LACE at various levels in Cleveland.
Rufus is an Economist and has worked in several roles including financial analysis, risk management, internal audit, and fiscal management. He currently works as a Corporate Financial Accountant for Forest City Enterprises, one of the leading real estate development, management, and service firms within the United States. He has a Masters degree in Economics from the Cleveland State University and an Associates of Arts degree in Computer Science with honors from the AME Zion Community College in Liberia. He is married to Joan Curran-Darkortey and Co-Founded LEDI with her. They have a son.
Cllr. Cyrus Tarpeh
Director of Infrastructure Development Initiative
Cyrus Washington Tarpeh brings a wealth of professional experience to LEDI in the areas of macro and micro economic understanding, analyses, and leadership. Prior to joining LEDI, he served as a Senior Analyst in the Development Finance and Foreign Exchange Departments respectively with the National Bank of Liberia, now the Central Bank of Liberia. He also brings a wealth of legal knowledge as he spearheads the Infrastructural Development aspect of LEDI.
Cyrus is very knowledgeable of the issues that effect infrastructural development and economic empowerment in poor countries, especially the Republic of Liberia where he hails.
He holds a Master's degree in Development Bank, and a LLB in Law. Presently, he works as a legal consultant in the Minneapolis area, State of Minnesota.
Chief Operating Officer | Co-Founder LEDI
Joan Curran Darkortey brings years of legal and administrative leadership to LEDI. As co-founder and chief communications officer, she is a devoted servant leader who has spent much of her life in service to Liberians in the Diaspora and her community at large.
Over the past 15 years, she has actively served several community organizations, churches, and international services organizations and advocated for immigrants from countries including Bosnia, Sudan, Somalia, Rwanda, and her native Liberia. Her accomplishments include successfully lobbying for Liberia’s debt cancellation and for the implementation of the Liberian Immigration Fairness Act, while serving on the Board of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in Atlanta, Georgia. She also served as chairwoman of the Communications Ministry at the International Christian Fellowship Ministries of Atlanta; facilitator and statement taker with the Atlanta Friends of the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Diaspora Project; program administrator and volunteer with the Liberian Association of Cleveland; board member with Disabled in Action; and marketing chair with the Black Professionals Association Charitable Foundation (BPACF) in Cleveland, Ohio, among others.
Joan is currently the legal assistant to the General Counsel at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Religion from Emory University and is a 2014 Executive MBA candidate at Cleveland State University.