Sunday, February 7, 2016

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf - Alyssa

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf with her Nobel
Diploma at the Nobel Peace Prize
Ceremony in Norway in 2011
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was one of three women who earned the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate in 2011. She studied at Madison College of Business where she earned an accounting degree. She also went to the University of Colorado and Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government where she received a Master's in Administration in 1971. When she graduated, she gave a famous speech that criticized the government and told of her determination to speak the truth no matter the consequences. At first, Ellen supported Charles Taylor's rebel movement to oust Samuel Dow, although, later she attempted to distance herself from what became a Taylor-fueled humanitarian nightmare. In 1985 Ellen criticized the Doe Regime, she was then sentenced to ten years in prison. Ellen never served the full sentence, she was released a few years later. After her release, she was forced to flee Liberia (to Kenya), because military dictates were increasingly suppressive. While in Kenya, she served as vice president for the African Regional Office of Citibank. In 1997, she returned to Liberia where she ran for president against Charles Taylor but lost. Taylor charged Johnson Sirleaf with treason. She then left Liberia again but paid very close attention to Liberia's politics. Later, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was selected to serve as a chairperson for the Governance Reform Commission (GFC). While in the GFC, she led an anti-corruption reform. She did this by strengthening and reinforcing its independence. That lasted for two years, she resigned in 2005 to run in the presidential elections, and won, becoming the first woman to lead an African nation. A year after her election, she requested Charles Taylor to be turned over to Sierra Leone's special court. She spent more than nine years rebuilding post-conflict Liberia and restoring international reputation and credibility. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is now commonly known as the "Iron Lady."


  1. Iron Lady is a great name for her. She is such an inspiration to all women. This was heart warming to read. Good to see women being notice for positive things!

  2. This is a great example of one person making a big difference in the world and many people.


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