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Ellen Johnson Sirleaf


Incumbent
Assumed office 
16 January 2006
Vice President Joseph Boakai
Preceded by Gyude Bryant

Born 29 October 1938 (1938-10-29) (age 71)
Monrovia, Liberia
Political party Unity Party
Religion Methodist

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (born 29 October 1938) is the current President of Liberia. She served as Minister of Finance under President William Tolbert from 1979 until the 1980 coup d'état, after which she left Liberia and held senior positions at various financial institutions. She placed a distant second in the 1997 presidential election. Later, she was elected President in the 2005 presidential election and took office on 16 January 2006.

Sirleaf is the first, and currently the only elected female head of state in Africa.

Contents

Biography

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was born in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, to educated parents.[1] Her ethnic background is 1/2 Gola from her father's side, and 1/4 Kru and 1/4 German from her mother's side.[2][3]

Sirleaf’s father, Jahmale Carney Johnson, was born into rural poverty.[1] He was the son of a Gola chief named Jahmale and one of his wives, Jenneh, in Julijuah, Bomi County.[4] Her father was sent to Monrovia, where his last name was changed to Johnson because of his father's loyalty to President Hilary R.W. Johnson, Liberia's first Liberian-born president.[4] He grew up in Monrovia where he was raised by an Americo-Liberian family with the surname McGritty.[4] Sirleaf's father later became the first Liberian from an indigenous ethnic group to sit in the country's national legislature.[1][3]

Her mother was also born into poverty in Greenville, Liberia.[4] Her grandmother Juah Sarwee sent Johnson-Sirleaf's mother to Monrovia when Sirleaf's German grandfather had to flee the country after Liberia declared war on Germany during World War I.[1] A member of a prominent Americo-Liberian family, Cecilia Dunbar, adopted and raised Sirleaf's mother.[4]

While not Americo-Liberian by ancestry, Sirleaf is considered culturally Americo-Liberian by some observers or assumed to be Americo-Liberian.[5][6][7] However, Sirleaf does not identify as such.[8]

Sirleaf studied economics and accounts from 1948 to 1955 at the College of West Africa in Monrovia. She was married to James Sirleaf when she was only 17 years old,[3] and then traveled to America in 1961 to continue her studies at the University of Colorado where she eventually earned a degree. Sirleaf then studied economics and public policy at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government from 1969 to 1971, gaining a Master of Public Administration. She then returned to her home country of Liberia to work under the government of William Tolbert.

She served as Assistant Minister of Finance from 1972 to 1973 under Tolbert's administration. She resigned after getting into a disagreement about spending. Subsequently she was Minister of Finance from 1979 to April 1980. Master Sergeant Samuel Doe, a member of the indigenous Krahn ethnic group, seized power in an April 1980 military coup; President William Tolbert was assassinated and several members of his cabinet were executed by firing squad. The People's Redemption Council took control of the country and led a purge against the former government. Sirleaf was able to narrowly escape by going into exile in Kenya. From 1983 to 1985 she served as Director of Citibank in Nairobi. When Samuel Doe declared himself president of Liberia and unbanned political parties in the country, she decided to return to her home country to participate in elections and run against Doe. She was placed under house arrest for doing so, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Sirleaf served a much shorter time before taking the offer to once more go into exile.

She moved to Washington D.C., and served as Vice President of both the African Regional Office of Citibank, in Nairobi, and of (HSCB) Equator Bank, in Washington. From 1992 to 1997 she worked as assistant administrator, then Director, of the United Nations Development Programme's Regional Bureau for Africa. Back in Liberia civil unrest was stirred and Samuel Doe was killed by a splinter group from Charles Taylor's National Patriotic Front of Liberia. Initially supporting Charles Taylor's bloody rebellion against President Samuel Doe in 1990, she later went on to oppose him. An interim government was put in power, led by a succession of four un-elected officials. By 1996 the presence of West African peacekeepers created a lull in the civil war, and elections were held, spurring Sirleaf to return once more to contest the elections. She came second in a controversial election, losing with 10% of the vote to Charles Taylor's 75%. Many observers said the election was fair, though Sirleaf was soon charged with treason.

By 1999 civil war had returned to the region and Taylor was accused of interfering with his neighbours, fomenting unrest and rebellion. On 11 August 2003, after much persuasion, Charles Taylor handed power over to his deputy Moses Blah. The new interim government and rebel groups signed an historic peace accord and set about installing a new head of state. Sirleaf was proposed as a possible candidate, but in the end the diverse groups selected Charles Bryant, a political neutral. Sirleaf served as head of the Governance Reform Commission. Sirleaf played an active role in the transitional government as the country prepared for the 2005 elections, and eventually stood for president against her rival the ex-international footballer, George Weah as leader of the Unity Party. Sirleaf won a majority in the election though Weah disputed the results. The announcement of the new leader was postponed until further investigations were carried out.

On 23 November 2005, Sirleaf was declared the winner of the Liberian election and confirmed as the country's next president. Her inauguration, attended by many foreign dignitaries, including United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and First Lady Laura Bush, took place on 16 January 2006.

In November 2007, she received the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom, the U.S. government's highest civilian award.[9]

Sirleaf is the mother of four sons and has eight grandchildren. Her great nephew, Emmanuel Sumana Elsar Sr., was her political advisor during the 2007 presidential elections against George Weah.

Presidency

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, 66, was Liberia's finance minister in the late 1970s. Her Unity Party came a distant second to Charles Taylor's National Patriotic Party in the 1997 election. Her experience is contrasted with Weah's inexperience Mrs Sirleaf served as Director for Africa at the United Nations Development Programme. The "Iron Lady", as her supporters fondly call her, served as head of the Governance Reform Commission set up as part of the deal to end Liberia's civil war in 2003. She resigned that post to contest the presidency, criticising the transitional government's inability to fight corruption. Mrs Sirleaf's presidential bid is still haunted by remarks she made in a radio interview in the early days of Charles Taylor's rebellion. She said that if Taylor demolished the presidency to get Samuel Doe out of power, they would all help to rebuild it. During a public debate that brought 11 of the 22 candidates together at the Independence Pavilion in Monrovia, Mrs Sirleaf out-smarted a male presidential candidate who tried to use his selection of a female running mate to win favour from Liberian women. "We don't want a woman second best; we want a woman best," Sirleaf said, to wild applause. Mrs Sirleaf, a divorcee whose ex-husband died a few years ago, is the mother of four sons. She wants to become president in order "to bring motherly sensitivity and emotion to the presidency" as a way of healing the wounds of war. She says she is keen on declaring war against corruption. In the first round of 2005 voting, she came second with 175,520 votes, putting her through to the runoff vote on 8 November against former soccer player George Weah. On 11 November, the National Elections Commission of Liberia declared Sirleaf to be president-elect of Liberia. On 23 November, they confirmed their decision saying that Sirleaf had won with a margin of almost 20% of the vote. Independent, international, regional, and domestic observers declared the vote to be free, fair, and transparent. Her supporters said she had two advantages over the man she faced in the run-off - former football star George Weah - she is better educated and is a woman.[10] Her inauguration took place on 16 January 2006; foreign attendees of the ceremony included Condoleezza Rice, Laura Bush and Michaëlle Jean.

US Ambassador Donald E. Booth and Liberia's then–president-elect Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

On 15 March 2006, President Sirleaf addressed a joint meeting of the United States Congress, asking for American support to help her country “become a brilliant beacon, an example to Africa and the world of what love of liberty can achieve.”[11]

Uncomfortably for Sirleaf, former President Taylor's followers remain in large numbers in Liberia's government. Taylor's estranged wife, Jewel Howard Taylor, is in the Senate. So is Prince Johnson, whose gruesome torture and murder of President Samuel Doe in 1990 was captured on a widely-distributed videotape.

On 26 July 2007, President Sirleaf celebrated Liberia's 160th Independence Day under the theme "Liberia at 160: Reclaiming the future." She took an unprecedented and symbolic move by asking 25 year old Liberian activist Kimmie Weeks to serve as National Orator for the celebrations. Kimmie became Liberia's youngest National Orator in over a hundred years and delivered a powerful speech. He called for the government to prioritize education and health care. A few days later, President Sirleaf issued an Executive Order making education free and compulsory for all elementary school aged children.

President Sirleaf is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, an international network of current and former women presidents and prime ministers whose mission is to mobilize the highest-level women leaders globally for collective action on issues of critical importance to women and equitable development. She was one of the seven internationally eminent persons designated in 1999 by the OAU to investigate the Rwanda genocide, one of the five Commission Chairs for the Inter-Congolese Dialogue and one of two international experts selected by UNIFEM to investigate and report on the effect of conflict on women and women’s roles in peace building. She was the initial Chairperson of the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), and a visiting Professor of Governance at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).

Sirleaf attended the College of West Africa in Central Monrovia, and holds a Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. She has received seven Honorary Doctorate degrees from universities around the world and is founder and chief supporter of Measuagoon, a community development NGO in Liberia.

In 1979, as Minister of Finance of Liberia, Sirleaf spearheaded the move to curb the mismanagement of government finances. After the military coup of 1980, she served as President of the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), Vice President of CITICORP’s Africa Regional Office in Nairobi and Senior Loan Officer at the World Bank where she was an initial member of the World Bank Council of African Advisors. In 1985, she took a sabbatical to contest for a seat in the Liberian Senate. She was placed under house arrest and then sentenced to ten years in prison for speaking against the Samuel Doe regime. After being incarcerated for a few months, she fled to the United States and served as Vice President for Equator Bank and in 1992 she joined the UNDP as Assistant Administrator and Director of its Regional Bureau of Africa with the rank of Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations. She left that post in 1997 to run as a Presidential candidate against Charles Taylor where the official results placed her second in a field of thirteen.

She is the recipient of several awards including the Civil Rights Museum Award (2007); the Africa Prize for the Sustainable End of Hunger (2006); the IRI Freedom Award (2006); the David Rockefeller Leadership Bridging Award (2006) and the Common Ground Award (2006). Special honors received include Commander de l’Ordre du Mono of Togo (1996); Ralph Bunche International Leadership Award (1995); Franklin D. Roosevelt Freedom of Speech Award (1988) and the Grand Commander of the Star of Africa Redemption (1980).

Truth and Reconciliation Commission

In 2005 She established a Truth and Reconciliation Commission with a mandate to "promote national peace, security, unity and reconciliation" by investigating more than 20 years of civil conflict in the country. The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was released July 1, 2009 and is available at www.trcofliberia.org.

In their Final Report, issued June 2009, the TRC included Sirleaf in a list of 50 names of people that should be "specifically barred from holding public offices; elected or appointed for a period of thirty (30) years" for "being associated with former warring factions."[12] On 26 July Sirleaf apologized to Liberia for supporting Charles Taylor, adding that "when the true nature of Mr. Taylor’s intentions became known, there was no more impassioned critic or strong opponent to him in a democratic process" than she.[13] On 28 August Liberia's parliament announced they must "consult our constituents for about a year" before deciding whether or not to implement the Commission's recommendations.[14]

Positions

  • 1972–1973: Assistant Minister of Finance of Liberia
  • 1979–1980: Minister of Finance of Liberia
  • 1982–1985: Vice President of the Africa Regional Office of Citibank, Nairobi
  • 1986–1992: Vice President and member of the executive board of Equator Bank, Washington, D.C.
  • 1988–1999: Member of board of directors of The Synergos Institute
  • 1992–1997: Director of the UN Development Programme Regional Bureau for Africa
  • 1997: Presidential candidate of the Unity Party
  • 2004–2005: Chairperson of the Governance Reform Commission
  • 2005: Standard bearer of the Unity Party; Candidate for President
  • 2006-present: President of Liberia

Other previous positions:

  • Founding member of the International Institute for Women in Political Leadership
  • Member of the advisory board of the Modern Africa Growth and Investment Company
  • Member of the finance committee of the Modern Africa Fund Managers
  • President of the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment
  • President of the Kormah Development and Investment Corporation
  • Senior loan officer of World Bank
  • Vice president of Citibank

Miscellaneous information

President Sirleaf addresses the 2008 General Conference of the United Methodist Church.
  • She attended the May 2008 Commencement of Indiana University Bloomington where she was given an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by IU President Michael McRobbie due to her very close relationship with the institution. [18]
  • Sirleaf is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha's Eta Beta Omega chapter.[19]
  • Her granddaughter attends Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Sirleaf's stepson, Fomba (or Fumba) Sirleaf, is currently head of the Liberian National Security Agency.
  • She appeared on the Daily Show on 21 April 2009 and made the host Jon Stewart an honorary chief.[20]
  • Pray the Devil Back to Hell, a documentary film, tells the story of how a group of Liberian women paved the way to make it possible for Sirleaf to become the first democratically elected female president in Africa.
  • In 2009 she spoke out against a Liberian couple living in America after the couple abandoned their 8-year-old daughter for "causing shame" to the family in being raped by four Liberian boys.

Publications

  • From Disaster to Development (1991)
  • The Outlook for Commercial Bank Lending to Sub-Saharan Africa (1992)
  • Co-author (together with former Finnish Minister of Defence Elisabeth Rehn): Women, War and Peace: The Independent Experts’ Assessment on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Women and Women’s Role in Peace-building (2002), a project of UNIFEM (the United Nations Development Fund for Women).
  • Contributor "Because I am a Girl - : In the Shadow of War" a study into girls in reference to the achievement of the Millineum Development Goals http://www.plan.org.au/ourwork/about/research/because_i_am_a_girl_2008_in_the_shadows_of_war
  • This Child Will Be Great: Memoir of a Remarkable Life by Africa's First Woman President (2009)

Awards

See also

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Market Women’s Fund

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d Harvard University Kennedy School Bulletin, "Ellen!", Spring 2006
  2. ^ Reed Kramer, "Liberia: Showered With Enthusiasm, Liberia's President-Elect Receives High-Level Reception in Washington", AllAfrica.com, 11 December 2005
  3. ^ a b c Britannica Online Encyclopedia, "Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf"
  4. ^ a b c d e Liberia Past And Present, "Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's tribal roots and Americo Liberian background"
  5. ^ Tish Kofa, "Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf finally confesses to funding Liberian civil war", The Liberian Dialogue, September 28, 2005
  6. ^ CBC News, "Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf: Liberia's 'Iron Lady'", March 28, 2006
  7. ^ Anna Koblanck, "Liberian Becomes Africa's First Elected Female Prez", Women's eNews, November 4, 2005
  8. ^ About.com, "Biography: Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Liberia's 'Iron Lady'"
  9. ^ Butty, James (November 5, 2007). "Liberia's President Sirleaf Receives U.S. Medal of Freedom Award". VOA News (Voice of America). http://voanews.com/english/archive/2007-11/2007-11-05-voa49.cfm.  
  10. ^ "Profile: Liberia's 'Iron Lady'", BBC News, 23 November 2005.
  11. ^ "Liberia: President Sirleaf Thanks U.S. Congress, Asks for Continuing Support", allAfrica.com, 15 March 2006.
  12. ^ Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia Final Report Volume II
  13. ^ Clinton Supports President of Liberia, New York Times.
  14. ^ Liberian Parliament Delay Action on Truth Commission Findings, Bloomberg
  15. ^ "Women Who Rule: 10 First". Archived from the original on 2009-10-31. http://www.webcitation.org/5kwbhrpSM.  
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^ Dartmouth College, "Dartmouth Commencement 2008"
  18. ^ (http://info.law.indiana.edu/news/page/normal/7887.html>)
  19. ^ Alpha Kappa Alpa Sorority, Inc., Johnson-Sirleaf Inaugurated as Liberian President
  20. ^ [2]
  21. ^ Search for Common Ground, "Common Ground Awards 2006"
  22. ^ The Africa Prize for Leadership
  23. ^ [3]
  24. ^ [4]
  25. ^ [5]
  26. ^ Brown University, "Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to Receive Honorary Degree"
  27. ^ [6]

References

  • Jon Lee Anderson, Letter from Liberia, "After the Warlords," The New Yorker, 27 March 2006.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Gyude Bryant
President of Liberia
2006–present
Incumbent
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Template:Infobox President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (born 29 October 1938) is the current President of Liberia. She served as Minister of Finance under President William Tolbert from 1979 until the 1980 coup d'état, after which she left Liberia and held senior positions at various financial institutions. She placed a distant second in the 1997 presidential election. Later, she was elected President in the 2005 presidential election and took office on 16 January 2006.

Often referred to as the "Iron Lady", Johnson-Sirleaf is Africa's first elected female head of state.

Contents

Biography

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was born in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, to educated parents.[1] Her ethnic background is 1/2 Gola from her father's side, and 1/4 Kru and 1/4 German from her mother's side.[2][3]

Johnson-Sirleaf’s father, Jahmale Carney Johnson, was born into rural poverty[1]. He was the son of a Gola chief named Jahmale and one of his wives, Jenneh, in Julijuah, Bomi County.[4] Her father was sent to Monrovia, where his last name was changed to Johnson because of his father's loyalty to President Hilary R.W. Johnson, Liberia's first Liberian-born president.[4] He grew up in Monrovia where he was raised by an Americo-Liberian family with the surname McGritty.[4] Johnson-Sirleaf's father later became the first Liberian from an indigenous ethnic group to sit in the country's national legislature.[3][1]

Her mother was also born into poverty in Greenville, Liberia.[4] Her grandmother Juah Sarwee sent Johnson-Sirleaf's mother to Monrovia when Johnson-Sirleaf's German grandfather had to flee the country after Liberia declared war on Germany during World War I[1]. A member of a prominent Americo-Liberian family, Cecilia Dunbar, adopted and raised Sirleaf-Johnson's mother.[4]

While not Americo-Liberian by ancestry, Johnson-Sirleaf is considered culturally Americo-Liberian by some observers or assumed to be Americo-Liberian.[5][6][7] However, Johnson-Sirleaf does not identify as such.[8]

Johnson-Sirleaf studied economics and accounts from 1948 to 1955 at the College of West Africa in Monrovia. She was married to James Sirleaf when she was only 17 years old[3], and then traveled to America in 1961 to continue her studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she eventually earned a degree. Johnson-Sirleaf then studied economics and public policy at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government from 1969 to 1971, gaining a Master of Public Administration. She then returned to her home country of Liberia to work under the government of William Tolbert.

She served as Assistant Minister of Finance from 1972 to 1973 under Tolbert's administration. She resigned after getting into a disagreement about spending. Subsequently she was Minister of Finance from 1979 to April 1980. Master Sergeant Samuel Doe, a member of the indigenous Krahn ethnic group, seized power in an April 1980 military coup; President William Tolbert was assasinated and several members of his cabinet were executed by firing squad. The People's Redemption Council took control of the country and led a purge against the former government. Johnson-Sirleaf was able to narrowly escape by going into exile in Kenya. From 1983 to 1985 she served as Director of Citibank in Nairobi. When Samuel Doe declared himself president of Liberia and unbanned political parties in the country, she decided to return to her home country to participate in elections and run against Doe. She was placed under house arrest for doing so, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Johnson-Sirleaf served a much shorter time before taking the offer to once more go into exile.

She moved to Washington D.C., and served as Vice President of both the African Regional Office of Citibank, in Nairobi, and of (HSCB) Equator Bank, in Washington. From 1992 to 1997 she worked as assistant administrator, then Director, of the United Nations Development Programme's Regional Bureau for Africa. Back in Liberia civil unrest was stirred and Samuel Doe was killed by a splinter group from Charles Taylor's National Patriotic Front of Liberia. Initially supporting Charles Taylor's bloody rebellion against President Samuel Doe in 1990, she later went on to oppose him. An interim government was put in power, led by a succession of four un-elected officials. By 1996 the presence of West African peacekeepers created a lull in the civil war, and elections were held, spurring Johnson-Sirleaf to return once more to contest the elections. She came second in a controversial election, losing with 10% of the vote to Charles Taylor's 75%. Many observers said the election was fair, though Johnson-Sirleaf was soon charged with treason.

By 1999 civil war had returned to the region and Taylor was accused of interfering with his neighbours, fomenting unrest and rebellion. On 11 August 2003, after much persuasion, Charles Taylor handed power over to his deputy Moses Blah. The new interim government and rebel groups signed an historic peace accord and set about installing a new head of state. Johnson-Sirleaf was proposed as a possible candidate, but in the end the diverse groups selected Charles Bryant, a political neutral. Johnson-Sirleaf served as head of the Governance Reform Commission. Johnson-Sirleaf played an active role in the transitional government as the country prepared for the 2005 elections, and eventually stood for president against her rival the ex-international footballer, George Weah as leader of the Unity Party. Johnson-Sirleaf won a majority in the election through Weah disputed the results. The announcement of the new leader was postponed until further investigations were carried out.

On 23 November 2005, Johnson-Sirleaf was declared the winner of the Liberian election and confirmed as the country's next president. Her inauguration, attended by many foreign dignitaries, including United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and First Lady Laura Bush, took place on 16 January, 2006.

In November 2007, she received the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom, the U.S. government's highest civilian award.[9]

Johnson-Sirleaf is the mother of four boys and has eight grandchildren. Her great nephew, Emmanuel Sumana Elsar Sr. was her political advisor during the 2007 presidential elections against George Weah.

Presidency

In the first round of 2005 voting, she came second with 175,520 votes, putting her through to the runoff vote on 8 November against former soccer player George Weah. On 11 November, the National Elections Commission of Liberia declared Johnson Sirleaf to be president-elect of Liberia. On 23 November, they confirmed their decision saying that Johnson Sirleaf had won with a margin of almost 20% of the vote. Independent, international, regional, and domestic observers declared the vote to be free, fair, and transparent. Template:Fact Her supporters said she had two advantages over the man she faced in the run-off - former football star George Weah - she is better educated and is a woman.[10] Her inauguration took place on 16 January 2006; foreign attendees of the ceremony included Condoleezza Rice, Laura Bush and Michaëlle Jean.

and Liberia's then–president-elect Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.]]

On 15 March 2006, President Johnson Sirleaf addressed a joint meeting of the United States Congress, asking for American support to help her country “become a brilliant beacon, an example to Africa and the world of what love of liberty can achieve.”[11]

Uncomfortably for Johnson Sirleaf, former President Taylor's followers remain in large numbers in Liberia's government. Taylor's estranged wife, Jewel Howard Taylor, is in the Senate. So is Prince Johnson, whose gruesome torture and murder of President Samuel Doe in 1990 was captured on a widely-distributed videotape.

On 26 July 2007, President Johnson Sirleaf celebrated Liberia's 160th Independence Day under the theme "Liberia at 160: Reclaiming the future." She took an unprecedented and symbolic move by asking 25 year old Liberian activist Kimmie Weeks to serve as National Orator for the celebrations. Kimmie became Liberia's youngest National Orator in over a hundred years and delivered a powerful speech. He called for the government to prioritize education and health care. A few days later, President Sirleaf issued an Executive Order making education free and compulsory for all elementary school aged children.

President Johnson Sirleaf is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, an international network of current and former women presidents and prime ministers whose mission is to mobilize the highest-level women leaders globally for collective action on issues of critical importance to women and equitable development.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission

In 2005 She established a Truth and Reconciliation Commission with a mandate to "promote national peace, security, unity and reconciliation" by investigating more than 20 years of civil conflict in the country.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has called for her to be barred from office for thirty years for having supported former warlord Charles Taylor's rebellion 20 years ago. The recommendations could become law if parliament decides to adopt them.[6]

Positions

  • 1972–1973: Assistant Minister of Finance of Liberia
  • 1979–1980: Minister of Finance of Liberia
  • 1982–1985: Vice President of the Africa Regional Office of Citibank, Nairobi
  • 1986–1992: Vice President and member of the executive board of Equator Bank, Washington, D.C.
  • 1988–1999: Member of board of directors of The Synergos Institute
  • 1992–1997: Director of the UN Development Programme Regional Bureau for Africa
  • 1997: Presidential candidate of the Unity Party
  • 2004–2005: Chairperson of the Governance Reform Commission
  • 2005: Standard bearer of the Unity Party; Candidate for President
  • 2006-present: President of Liberia

Other previous positions:

  • Founding member of the International Institute for Women in Political Leadership
  • Member of the advisory board of the Modern Africa Growth and Investment Company
  • Member of the finance committee of the Modern Africa Fund Managers
  • President of the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment
  • President of the Kormah Development and Investment Corporation
  • Senior loan officer of World Bank
  • Vice president of Citibank

Miscellaneous information

  • In 2006, Forbes magazine named her the 51st in the most powerful women in the world. [13]
  • Johnson-Sirleaf is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha's Eta Beta Omega Chapter[15]
  • Her granddaughter attends Emory University in Atlanta, GA. Sirleaf's stepson, Fomba (or Fumba) Sirleaf, is currently head of the Liberian National Security Agency.
  • She appeared on the Daily Show on April 21, 2009 and made the host Jon Stewart a Chief.
  • Pray the Devil Back to Hell is a documentary film that tells the story of how a group of Liberian women paved the way to make it possible for Johnson Sirleaf to become the first democratically elected President in Africa.

Publications

  • From Disaster to Development (1991)
  • The Outlook for Commercial Bank Lending to Sub-Saharan Africa (1992)
  • Co-author (together with former finnish Minister of Defence Elisabeth Rehn): Women, War and Peace: The Independent Experts’ Assessment on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Women and Women’s Role in Peace-building (2002), a project of UNIFEM (the United Nations Development Fund for Women).
  • Contributor "Because I am a Girl - : In the Shadow of War" a study into girls in reference to the achievement of the Millineum Development Goals http://www.plan.org.au/ourwork/about/research/because_i_am_a_girl_2008_in_the_shadows_of_war
  • This Child Will Be Great: Memoir of a Remarkable Life by Africa's First Woman President (2009)

Awards

See also

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Harvard University Kennedy School Bulletin, "Ellen!", Spring 2006
  2. Reed Kramer, "Liberia: Showered With Enthusiasm, Liberia's President-Elect Receives High-Level Reception in Washington", AllAfrica.com, 11 December 2005
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Britannica Online Encyclopedia, "Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Liberia Past And Present, "Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's tribal roots and Americo Liberian background"
  5. Tish Kofa, "Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf finally confesses to funding Liberian civil war", The Liberian Dialogue, September 28, 2005
  6. CBC News, "Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf: Liberia's 'Iron Lady'", March 28, 2006
  7. Anna Koblanck, "Liberian Becomes Africa's First Elected Female Prez", Women's eNews, November 4, 2005
  8. About.com, "Biography: Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Liberia's 'Iron Lady'"
  9. Butty, James (November 5, 2007). "Liberia's President Sirleaf Receives U.S. Medal of Freedom Award". VOA News (Voice of America). http://voanews.com/english/archive/2007-11/2007-11-05-voa49.cfm. 
  10. "Profile: Liberia's 'Iron Lady'", BBC News, 23 November 2005.
  11. "Liberia: President Sirleaf Thanks U.S. Congress, Asks for Continuing Support", allAfrica.com, 15 March 2006.
  12. Women Who Rule: 10 First
  13. [1]
  14. Dartmouth College, "Dartmouth Commencement 2008"
  15. Alpha Kappa Alpa Sorority, Inc., Johnson-Sirleaf Inaugurated as Liberian President
  16. Search for Common Ground, "Common Ground Awards 2006"
  17. The Africa Prize for Leadership
  18. [2]
  19. [3]
  20. [4]
  21. Brown University, "Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to Receive Honorary Degree"
  22. [5]

References

  • Jon Lee Anderson, Letter from Liberia, "After the Warlords," The New Yorker, 27 March 2006.

External links

Template:Start box |- ! colspan="3" style="background: #ccccff;" | Political offices

|- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
Gyude Bryant |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|President of Liberia
2006 – present |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Incumbent |- Template:End box


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