Who is the American man diagnosed with Ebola in Liberia? 33-year-old Ashoka Mukpo from Providence, Rhode Island has been identified as the man infected with the virus.
Ashoka is a Researcher/Advocate, his Twitter feed reads: “freelance journalist and human rights advocate, specializing in extractive industries and Africa.” He has been living and doing human rights work in west Africa for the past several years.
According to his LinkedIn, he is a former advocate with local NGO in Liberia. Conducted field investigations of extractive companies with a focus on land and worker’s rights. Worked closely with civil society activists in Monrovia and abroad to pressure industry and governments to respect the right of local communities to obtain tangible development benefits from extractive projects. Published op-eds, reports, and original research. Expertise on land grabs and the interplay between agriculture, development, and local governance.
The 33-year-old is also an occasional freelance journalist , writer and filmer says his FB page. He specializes in: Field research, interviews, investigative reporting, writing under deadline, descriptive prose, rigorous research and/or narrative journalism.
On Sept. 8th he posted to his Facebook page
man oh man i have seen some bad things in the last two weeks of my life. how unpredictable and fraught with danger life can be. how in some parts of the world, basic levels of help and assistance that we take for granted completely don’t exist for many people. the raw coldness of deprivation and the potential for true darkness that exists in the human experience. i hope that humanity can figure out how we can take care of each other and our world. simple, soft aspiration for all my brothers and sisters on this earth who suffer the elements and the cold. may we all be free, loved, and tended to…
His last post was on Sept. 23, when he shared a link he wrote, titled “To live and Die with Ebola in Liberia”
It was precisely in Africa that he contracted the deadly virus. Mukpo was working with the crew of NBC chief medical correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman in Libera. He was diagnosed with the virus just two days after joining the crew. according to a memo NBC News President Deborah Turness sent to staffers.
Ashoka who is fluent in Spanish, attended Columbia University – School of International and Public Affairs for a Masters in International Affairs, Human Rights and International Conflict Resolution from 2010 – 2011 and also holds a Masters in Public Administration, Political Economy form the London School of Economics and Political Science.
As for his personal life, we know he is the son of Mitchell Levy –a a doctor at a Rhode Island hospital –and his British mother, Lady Diana Judith Mukpo born Diana Pybus, was married to a Buddhist guru. His mom made major headlines when she was in her teen and ran away to marry 30-year-old Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Ashoka was adopted by Trungpa and travelled to Tibet with his family as a “Tulku.” He also has a sister named Chandali Mukpo.
The 2009 documentary made by his half-brother Gesar Mukpo talks more about his experience with the culture.
Media reports say he’ll be taken to the U.S for treatment.
You can find him on Twitter here.