Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President

Today marks the birthday (October 29, 1928) of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the 24th President of Liberia. She is the 1st black female president. She is also the 1st elected woman head of state. She is considered a strong proponent of equal rights.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf worked as Assistant Minister of Finance between 1973 and 1974 and has Minister of Finance from 1979 and 1980.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was once exiled after speaking out against a military coup and its subsequent regime.

She dedicated her life to promoting peace, economic and social development.

She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for her “non-violent struggle for the safety of women and women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.”

As President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was faced with the almost insurmountable challenge of building a country ravaged by civil war and saddled with crippling debts. She was able to negotiate settlements and rebuild infrastructure.

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