Ken Rosen (1948-2000) joined the Peace Corps in 1971, hoping he would end up somewhere completely different from his home country of the United States. He was freshly out of college and frustrated with American materialism, and sought to immerse himself in a completely foreign culture. His ﬁrst choice on the Peace Corps’s checklist of locations was Africa. When he received his acceptance letter and learned he was to be placed in Sierra Leone he was disappointed, as he thought that Sierra Leone was in South America. He was thrilled when he looked at the globe and discovered that the tiny and then little-known West African country would be his home for the next two years.
When he returned to the U.S., disoriented and conﬁdent that he would return to Africa, he applied to medical school with the intention of providing aid to third world countries. He went on to specialize in psychiatry and, as a psychiatric resident, he was awarded a Community Psychiatry Fellowship for his dedication to working with the underprivileged, inner-city population in New York. It wasn’t until thirty years later, on his trip to Ghana, that he ﬁnally returned to West Africa.
He practiced family therapy for thirty years. He was accredited both through the Ackerman Institute and the Minuchen Center for Family Therapy. In the 1990s, once Sierra Leone had fallen into civil war, he volunteered at a New York facility for granting refugees asylum. He assessed refugees with post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), speaking with them in a mixture of English, Krio, and Mende. In 2001, one year after his death, an article was published in the New York Times Magazine about his work with Sierra Leonean refugees.
From the time he lived in Sierra Leone (1972-74) until his death in 2000, he worked on a memoir detailing his adventures in Sierra Leone, but was never able to bring it to completion. Additionally, he was a singer/songwriter, travel enthusiast, loving husband, and father of three.