Meet PREVAIL Team Member T. Maccarthy Kpaan, Human Resources Manager, Based in Liberia

“I’ve always liked ideas and looking at things from different angles,” said T. Maccarthy Kpaan, also known as “Mac,” FHI Clinical human resources (HR) manager in Liberia for the Partnership for Research on Vaccines and Infectious Diseases in Liberia (PREVAIL) team.
According to Maccarthy, he looks forward to working with diverse groups of people and perspectives on various issues.
The PREVAIL research network was established in 2014 by the Liberian Ministry of Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to foster international relationships to help end the 2014-2015 Ebola epidemic. Originally, the network focused on clinical research for Ebola therapeutics and vaccines. Efforts have since shifted to a long-term network that researches many other diseases of public health importance in Liberia. Today, the PREVAIL network is governed by multiple, global organizations and has active studies for Ebola, HIV, malaria and COVID-19.
Maccarthy’s professional HR experience began in 2014.

“I spent most of my career providing HR leadership and support to the health sector in areas such as sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) projects, technical vocational education training projects, community health, urban health service delivery, capacity building and system development for a local civil society organization in Liberia,” he said.

He holds an undergraduate degree in management from the United Methodist University in Liberia in addition to several certificates and diplomas in project management, leadership and human resources. He is now in his final year of graduate school, pursuing a master’s in personnel administration.
A typical workday for Maccarthy includes responding to staff concerns, creating policy documents and templates and managing employee timesheets. He’s also in charge of recruitment processes. “This includes overseeing advertisements, selecting the interview panel, coordinating the scheduling of interviews, participating in interviewing candidates, checking references, negotiating offers and the orientation and onboarding of new hires,” he said. Despite the substantial workload, Maccarthy approaches his position with a balanced, positive outlook and recommends the same for anyone considering a career in HR.

“Clear your mind of the stereotype that HR is a profession set aside only to hire or fire. Strive to build a more inclusive work environment, one that is full of knowledge sharing, team-friendly and culturally sensitive, where everyone has respect for diverse opinions and views. Place strong focus on equity, inclusion and diversity.”

Maccarthy is passionate, not only for constantly improving human resources management but also for connecting talented individuals to a rewarding workplace.
“Connecting people with life-changing career opportunities and helping this company attract and retain the best talent brings me so much motivation and fulfillment. I also have a great passion for sharing ideas; developing HR systems, practices, policies and procedures; and using data and analytics to drive information and decision making.”
Outside of work, Maccarthy enjoys spending time with his two daughters and stepson and playing the piano for his family and church. “I love spending time with my family. I also really enjoy sports and playing music,” he said.
Maccarthy reflected as he recently celebrated one year with FHI Clinical and PREVAIL: “Just waking up every morning knowing that I have that space, that place, that company (FHI Clinical-PREVAIL) that welcomes me and allows me to put out my full potential and feel respected motivates me very profoundly and deeply,” he said.
The FHI Clinical-PREVAIL Partnership
FHI Clinical has supported the PREVAIL research network since its inception in 2014, and we expanded our role to full operational management in September 2020. We provide experienced oversight, facilitate the execution and contractual requirements of all in-country logistics, and help sustain the ability of the network’s research-ready sites to conduct high-quality studies in collaboration with sponsors and research teams.
This project was funded, in whole or in part, with federal funds from the National Cancer Institute contract number 75N91019D00024 Task Orders 75N91019F00130, 75N91020F00004, 75N91019F00129, 75N91019F00131, 75N91020F00005, 75N91019F00137 and/or HHSN261201500003I Task Order HHSN261000033, HHSN261000043 and HHSN261000059.

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