Jeanine Cooper founded FABRAR Liberia in 2009 and has been managing the company since January 2017. From a micro-milling operation, purchasing rice from smallholder farmers, FABRAR has grown to be Liberia’s largest rice producer, supplying school-feeding and other institutional contracts, as well as supermarkets and retailers. In 2018, FABRAR began growing red rice through a consortium of farmers, most of whom are women, and exporting it to retailers in the United States and Europe.
Before moving home to Liberia to run FABRAR, Ms. Cooper served 13 years with the United Nations. Her last posting was as the Permanent Observer to the African Union and the Economic Commission for Africa and Head of the Liaison Office for the U.N. Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Ms. Cooper also held postings with the UN-OCHA in Kenya and for the Eastern and Southern Africa region.
Ms. Cooper’s career spans an additional 10 years of humanitarian work with international NGOs and charitable institutions in Africa. She worked with the first team of Mèdecins Sans Frontières – Belgium, which served Liberians during the civil war in 1990–1996. Ms. Cooper founded a local NGO in Liberia, the Children’s Assistance Program, which has served youth since 1991 and is a leading partner in child development.
Ms. Cooper has also supported community-initiated agricultural projects and served on the board of directors of developmental bodies and educational institutions in Liberia and in Côte d’Ivoire. She graduated from Michigan State University in 1982 and has an MSc in Managing Rural Change from the University of London, Imperial College at Wye, earning distinction for her dissertation in 2003. She has completed several certificate courses on business and entrepreneurship.
Jeanine Cooper is married with three children.