Ellen Johnson Sirleaf | Wikipedia audio article


Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (born 29 October 1938)
is a Liberian politician who served as the 24th President of Liberia from 2006 to 2018.
Sirleaf was the first elected female head of state in Africa.
Born in Monrovia to a Gola father and Kru-German mother, Sirleaf was educated at the College
of West Africa before moving to the United States, where she studied at Madison Business
College and Harvard University. She returned to Liberia to work in William Tolbert’s government
as Deputy Minister of Finance from 1971 to 1974 and later went to work for the World
Bank in the Caribbean and Latin America. She returned to work for the late president Tolbert’s
government again as deputy minister of Finance before being promoted to the post of Minister
of Finance from 1979 to 1980. After Samuel Doe seized power in a coup d’état and executed
Tolbert, Sirleaf fled to the United States. She worked for Citibank and then the Equator
Bank before returning to Liberia to contest a senatorial seat for Montserrado county in
the disputed 1985 elections. After returning to Liberia, Sirleaf ran for
office, and finished in second place at the 1997 presidential election won by Charles
Taylor. She won the 2005 presidential election and took office on 16th January 2006. She
was re-elected in 2011. In June 2016, she was elected as the Chair of the Economic Community
of West African States, making her the first woman to hold the position since it was created.In
2011, Sirleaf was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Leymah Gbowee of Liberia
and Tawakkol Karman of Yemen. The three women were recognized “for their non-violent struggle
for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.”Sirleaf
was conferred the Indira Gandhi Prize by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee on 12th September
2013. In 2016, she was listed as the 83rd-most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine.==Family background==
Sirleaf’s father was Gola and her mother had mixed Kru and German ancestry. While not Americo-Liberian
in terms of ancestry, because of her education in the West, Sirleaf is considered culturally
Americo-Liberian by some observers, or assumed to be Americo-Liberian. Sirleaf does not identify
as such.Sirleaf’s father, Jahmale Carney Johnson, was born into a Gola family in an impoverished
rural region. He was the son of a minor Gola chief named Jahmale and one of his wives,
Jenneh, in Julijuah, Bomi County. Her father was sent to Monrovia, where he changed his
surname to Johnson due to his father’s loyalty to President Hilary R. W. Johnson, Liberia’s
first native-born president. He grew up in Monrovia, where he was raised by an Americo-Liberian
family with the surname McCritty. Sirleaf’s father later became the first Liberian from
an indigenous ethnic group to be elected to the country’s national legislature. Sirleaf’s
mother was also born into poverty, in Greenville. Her grandmother, Juah Sarwee, sent 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. A member of a prominent Americo-Liberian family, Cecilia
Dunbar, adopted and raised Sirleaf’s mother.==Early life and career==
Sirleaf was born in Monrovia in 1938. She attended the College of West Africa, a preparatory
school, from 1948 to 1955. She married James Sirleaf when she was seventeen years old.
The couple had four sons together, and she was primarily occupied as a homemaker. Early
on in their marriage, James worked for the Department of Agriculture, and Sirleaf worked
as a bookkeeper for an auto-repair shop.She traveled with her husband to the United States
in 1961 to continue her education and earned an associate degree in Accounting at Madison
Business College, in Madison, Wisconsin. When they returned to Liberia, James continued
his work in the Agriculture Department and Sirleaf pursued a career in the Treasury Department
(Ministry of Finance). They divorced in 1961 because of James’ abuse.Sirleaf returned to
college to finish her bachelor’s degree. In 1970, she enrolled at the Economics Institute
in Boulder, Colorado, where she spent the summer preparing for graduate studies. Sirleaf
studied Economics and Public Policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government
from 1969 to 1971, gaining a Master of Public Administration. She returned to her native
Liberia to work in the administration of William Tolbert, where she was appointed as Assistant
Minister of Finance. Whilst in that position, she attracted attention with a “bombshell”
speech to the Liberian Chamber of Commerce that claimed that the country’s corporations
were harming the economy by hoarding or sending their profits overseas.Sirleaf served as Assistant
Minister from 1972 to 1973 in the Tolbert administration. She resigned after a disagreement
about government spending. Subsequently, she was appointed as Minister of Finance a few
years later, serving from 1979 to April 1980.Master Sergeant Samuel Doe, a member of the indigenous
Krahn ethnic group, seized power in a military coup on 12th April 1980; he ordered the assassination
of Tolbert and execution by firing squad of all but four members of his Cabinet. The People’s
Redemption Council took control of the country and led a purge against the previous government.
Sirleaf initially accepted a post in the new government as President of the Liberian Bank
for Development and Investment. She fled the country in November 1980 after publicly criticising
Doe and the People’s Redemption Council for their management of the country.
Sirleaf initially moved to Washington, D.C., and worked for the World Bank. In 1981, she
moved to Nairobi, Kenya to serve as Vice President of the African Regional Office of Citibank.
She resigned from Citibank in 1985 following her involvement at the 1985 general election
in Liberia. She went to work for Equator Bank, a subsidiary of HSBC.
In 1992, Sirleaf was appointed as the Director of the United Nations Development Programme’s
Regional Bureau for Africa at the rank of Assistant Administrator and Assistant Secretary
General (ASG). She resigned from this role in 1997 in order to run for the presidency
of Liberia. During her time at the UN, she was one of the seven internationally eminent
persons designated in 1999 by the Organization of African Unity to investigate the Rwandan
genocide, one of the five Commission Chairs for the Inter-Congolese Dialogue, and one
of the 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).==Political career=====1985 general election===
While working at Citibank, Sirleaf returned to Liberia in 1985 to run for Vice President
under Jackson Doe on the ticket of the Liberian Action Party in the 1985 elections. However,
Sirleaf was placed under house arrest in August 1985 and soon after sentenced to ten years
in prison for sedition, as a consequence of a speech in which she insulted the members
of the Samuel Doe regime. Following international calls for her release, Samuel Doe pardoned
and released her in September. Due to government pressure, she was removed from the presidential
ticket and instead ran for a Senate seat in Montserrado County.
In the 1985 elections, Samuel Doe and the National Democratic Party won the presidency
and large majorities in both houses. The elections were widely condemned as neither free nor
fair. Sirleaf was declared the winner of her Senate race, but she refused to accept the
seat in protest of the election fraud. After an attempted coup against the Doe government
by Thomas Quiwonkpa on 12th November 1985, Sirleaf was arrested and imprisoned again
on 13th November by Doe’s forces. Despite continuing to refuse to accept her seat in
the Senate, she was released in July 1986. She secretly fled the country to the United
States later that year.===1997 presidential campaign===At the beginning of the First Liberian Civil
War in 1989, Sirleaf supported Charles Taylor’s rebellion against Doe. She helped raise money
for the war and founded the National Patriotic Front of Liberia with Taylor and Tom Woewiyu.
Because of this, Doe’s government recommended that Sirleaf be banned from politics in Liberia
for 30 years. But, she later opposed Taylor’s handling of
the war and his treatment of rival opposition leaders such as Jackson Doe. By 1996, the
presence of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) peacekeepers led to a cessation
of hostilities. The nation held the 1997 general election, which Sirleaf returned to Liberia
to contest. She ran as the presidential candidate for the Unity Party and placed second in a
controversial election, getting 25% of the vote to Charles Taylor’s 75%. After controversy
about the results and being accused of treason, Sirleaf left Liberia and went into exile in
Abidjan, Ivory Coast.===2005 presidential campaign===
After the end of the Second Liberian Civil War and the establishment of a transitional
government, Sirleaf was proposed as a possible candidate for chairman of the government.
Ultimately, Gyude Bryant, a political neutral, was chosen as chairman, while Sirleaf served
as head of the Governance Reform Commission. Sirleaf stood for president as the candidate
of the Unity Party in the 2005 general election. She placed second in the first round of voting
behind footballer George Weah. In the subsequent run-off election, Sirleaf earned 59% of the
vote versus 40% for Weah, though Weah disputed the results. The announcement of the new leader
was postponed until further election 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 16th January, 2006.===2011 presidential campaign===In January 2010, Sirleaf announced that she
would run for a second term in office in the 2011 presidential election while speaking
to a joint session of the Legislature. Opposition leaders noted that in doing so, she had broken
a promise made during her 2005 campaign to only serve one term if elected. Sirleaf was
renominated as the Unity Party’s presidential candidate at the party’s national convention
on 31 October 2010. That same day, Vice President Joseph Boakai was nominated by Sirleaf and
confirmed by the delegates as Sirleaf’s running mate.The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize
to Sirleaf four days prior to the election sparked criticism from opposition parties,
with Congress for Democratic Change candidate Winston Tubman calling the award “undeserved”
and “a political interference in our country’s politics.” Sirleaf called the timing of the
award a coincidence and avoided mentioning the award during the final days of campaigning.Sirleaf
garnered 43.9% of the vote in the first round, more than any other candidate but short of
the 50% needed to avoid a run-off. Tubman came in second with 32.7%, pitting him against
Sirleaf in the second round. Tubman called for a boycott of the run-off, claiming that
the results of the first round had been fraudulent. Sirleaf denied the allegations, and international
observers reported that the first round election had been free, fair and transparent. As a
result of the boycott, Sirleaf won the second round with 90.7% of the vote, though voter
turnout significantly declined from the first round. Following the election, Sirleaf announced
the creation of a “national peace and reconciliation initiative,” led by Nobel Peace Prize laureate
Leymah Gbowee, to address the country’s divisions and begin “a national dialogue that would
bring us together.” She took the presidential oath for her second presidency on 16th, January
2012.===2017 presidential campaign===
Sirleaf crossed party lines to support George Weah in the 2017 presidential campaign. In
the late evening hours of January 13, 2018, she along with some officials of the Unity
Party were expelled by the National Executive Committee of the party, for failing to support
Unity’s presidential candidate, Joseph Boakai.==Presidency=====Domestic policy===A fire broke out at the Executive Mansion
on 26 July 2006, seriously damaging the structure. An independent panel formed to investigate
the incident ruled out arson, attributing the fire to an electrical malfunction. Sirleaf’s
government called funding for the repair of the mansion a low priority in the face of
more pressing needs, with Sirleaf transferring her office to the nearby Foreign Ministry
building and choosing to live at her personal home in Monrovia.On 26 July 2007, 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, where Weeks 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.On 4th, October 2010, Sirleaf signed into law a Freedom of Information bill,
the first legislation of its kind in West Africa. In recognition of this, she became
the first sitting head of state to receive the Friend of the Media in Africa Award from
The African Editor’s Union.On 1 April 2011, Sirleaf told reporters that she planned to
charge an opposition candidate with sedition for organizing a rally protesting corruption
in the government. Her press secretary later clarified that the remark had been an April
Fools’ prank.====Debt relief====
From the beginning of her presidency, Sirleaf vowed to make reduction of the national debt,
which stood at approximately US$4.9 billion in 2006, a top priority for her administration.
The United States became the first country to grant debt relief to Liberia, waiving the
full $391 million owed to it by Liberia in early 2007. In September of that year, the
G-8 headed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel provided $324.5 million to paying off 60%
of Liberia’s debt to the International Monetary Fund, crediting their decision to the macroeconomic
policies pursued by the Sirleaf administration.In April 2009, the government successfully wrote
off an additional $1.2 billion in foreign commercial debt in a deal that saw the government
buy back the debt at a 97% discounted rate through financing provided by the International
Development Association, Germany, Norway, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
The discounted rate was the largest ever for a developing country.The country was deemed
eligible to participate in the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative in 2008. In June
2010, the country reached the completion point of the HIPC initiative, qualifying it for
relief from its entire external debt. That same month, the World Bank and IMF agreed
to fund $1.5 billion in writing off the Liberia’s multilateral debt. On 16 September, the Paris
Club agreed to cancel $1.26 billion, with independent bilateral creditors canceling
an additional $107 million, essentially writing off Liberia’s remaining external debt. Sirleaf
vowed to prevent unsustainable borrowing in the future by restricting annual borrowing
to 3% of GDP and limiting expenditure of all borrowed funds to one-off infrastructure projects.====Truth and Reconciliation Commission====In 2006, Sirleaf 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.
In their final report, issued in 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.”
The proposed ban stemmed from her financial support of former President Taylor in the
early years of the First Liberian Civil War. On 26 July 2009, Sirleaf apologized to Liberia
for supporting Charles Taylor, saying: “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. On 28 August, the Legislature announced they must “consult our constituents
for about a year” before deciding whether or not to implement the Commission’s recommendations.During
an appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations in 2010, Sirleaf argued that the implementation
of the TRC’s recommended ban would unconstitutionally violate her right to due process. In October
2010, the chairman of Sirleaf’s Unity Party, Varney Sherman, argued that implementation
of the recommendation would be unconstitutional, as Article 21(a) of the Constitution prohibits
ex post facto laws, and Sirleaf had broken no law by financially supporting Taylor that
imposed a ban from public office as a penalty.In January 2011, the Supreme Court ruled in Williams
v. Tah, a case brought by another person recommended for being banned from public office in the
TRC report, that the TRC’s recommendation was an unconstitutional violation of the listed
individuals’ right to procedural due process, and that it would be unconstitutional for
the government to implement the proposed bans.====Gay rights====
Following a speech made by United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in December 2011
that America’s foreign aid would be used to promote the protection of gay rights, the
issue of LGBT rights became a significant political topic in Liberia. According to The
Guardian, “Since Clinton’s remarks, Liberian newspapers have published numerous articles
and editorials describing homosexuality as ‘desecrating’, ‘abusive’ and an ‘abomination’.”
Liberian law made “voluntary sodomy” punishable by up to one year in prison, although it has
not been used to prosecute anyone in several years.In February 2012, Bong County Senator
Jewel Taylor proposed a bill that would carry a term of ten years in prison for homosexual
activity, while a similar bill was introduced in the House of Representatives. On 19 March,
Sirleaf addressed the issue, saying that she would not repeal the current law but would
also not sign into law either of the two proposed bills. Sirleaf added, “We like ourselves just
the way we are […] We’ve got certain traditional values in our society that we would like to
preserve.” According to Tiawan Gongloe, Liberia’s former Solicitor General, “If she tried to
decriminalise the [current anti-gay] law it would be political suicide.”In a letter to
The Guardian, Sirleaf’s press secretary challenged the portrayal of her remarks in the media
saying that: “There currently exists no law referencing homosexuality in Liberia, and
as such the President could not be defending a law on homosexuality. The President is on
record as saying […] that any law brought before her regarding homosexuality will be
vetoed. This statement also applies to an initial attempt by two members of the Liberian
legislature to introduce tougher laws targeting homosexuality.” The letter added “the status
quo in Liberia has been one of tolerance and no one has ever been prosecuted under that
[current] law,” and went on to hint at future possible liberalization stating that “the
President thinks that with the unprecedented freedom of speech and expression Liberia enjoys
today, our budding democracy will be strong enough to accommodate new ideas and debate
both their value and Liberia’s laws with openness, respect and independence.” The Guardian published
a correction to its story, “Nobel peace prize winner defends law criminalising homosexuality
in Liberia was updated to restore material cut in the editing process. The restored material
clarifies the stance that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is taking on laws concerning
homosexuality in Liberia. That is: she refuses to dismantle the existing anti-sodomy law,
while also saying she will refuse to sign two new bills that would toughen laws on homosexuality.”
The comments, letter, and clarification suggest that she considered the status quo for gay
rights in Liberia to be one of de facto tolerance up until the recent controversy and would
not support decriminalization of homosexuality, but also refuses to support further criminalisation
of homosexual acts which was being attempted in Liberia and hints at future liberalization.
This is a view she reaffirmed during an interview with Tony Blair.===Foreign policy===Upon her election to office, Sirleaf made
her first foreign trip as President to neighboring Ivory Coast, meeting with Ivorian President
Laurent Gbagbo in an attempt to repair relations between the two countries following Côte
d’Ivoire’s support of the Movement for Democracy in Liberia during the Second Liberian Civil
War. During the 2010–2011 Ivorian crisis, Sirleaf, as chairperson of the Mano River
Union, supported ECOWAS’s recognition of Gbagbo’s opponent, Alassane Ouattara, as the winner
of the disputed presidential election, but rejected calls for a military solution to
the crisis.Sirleaf has forged close relations with the United States, Liberia’s traditional
ally. Following the establishment of United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) by the United
States military, Sirleaf offered to allow the US to headquarter the new command in Liberia,
the only African leader to do so. The command was eventually headquartered in Stuttgart,
Germany. 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.”Sirleaf has also strengthened
relations with the People’s Republic of China, reaffirming Liberia’s commitment to the One-China
policy. In return, China has contributed to Liberia’s reconstruction, building several
transmitters to extend the Liberia Broadcasting System nationwide and constructing a new campus
for the University of Liberia.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.During the 2011 Libyan
civil war, Sirleaf added her voice to the international community who asked the previous
Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi to cease the use of violence and tactics of political
repression. However, she criticized the international military intervention in Libya, declaring
that “violence does not help the process whichever way it comes”. Her government later severed
diplomatic ties with Libya, stating that “The Government took the decision after a careful
review of the situation in Libya and determined that the Government of Colonel Gaddafi has
lost the legitimacy to govern Libya.”On 27 February 2015, President Sirleaf was expected
to make a visit to U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington, D.C., according
to an official online statement from the Office of the White House Press Secretary. Among
other issues, they planned to discuss the hope to expeditiously close the recent 2013–2015
Ebola virus epidemic, which heavily affected Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, and other
areas in West Africa (and beyond in other countries due to importation of cases for
treatment and some new infections), down to an ideal of zero reported cases in Liberia
and nearby areas in the near future, with continuing monitoring and reporting, care,
support, and fiscal and professional assistance. They also planned to discuss how to sustain
and rebuild the healthcare infrastructure and the country’s other difficulties in the
wake of the massive outbreak’s morbidity and mortality toll and impact on the area, as
well as review progress that had been made and efforts to continue it.===Administration and Cabinet===
Following her election in 2005, Sirleaf pledged to promote national reconciliation by bringing
in opposition leaders into her administration. Opposition politicians who joined her initial
administration included Minister of Transport Jeremiah Sulunteh, Minister of Education Joseph
Korto, and Ambassador to the United Nations Nathaniel Barnes. Sirleaf also appointed several
women to high-level posts in her administration, with female ministers initially leading the
Ministries of Finance, Law, Commerce and Industry, Gender and Development, and Youth and Sports.
Sirleaf said that while she had planned on appointing an all-female cabinet, she had
been unable to find qualified female candidates for every position.Upon her inauguration,
Sirleaf promised that she would impose a “zero tolerance” policy on corruption within the
government. Despite this, critics have argued that corruption remains rampant within Sirleaf’s
administration; Information Minister Lawrence Bropleh was sacked in 2008 over allegations
that he had stolen more than $200,000 in state funds, while Internal Affairs Minister Ambullai
Johnson, Sirleaf’s brother, was dismissed in 2010 after the disappearance of funds for
county development. Sirleaf herself has acknowledged that corruption in government remains, noting
that her zero tolerance policy was hampered by the need to pass major economic reforms
through the Legislature, a goal that would have been impeded by significant anti-corruption
legislation and prosecutions. However, Sirleaf has rejected claims that she has failed to
fight corruption, pointing to the establishment of the Liberian Anti-Corruption Commission
and the restructuring of the General Auditing Commission.Sirleaf dismissed her entire cabinet
from office on 3 November 2010, promising to reassemble the cabinet in as short a time
as possible. She argued that the move was taken to give her administration a “clean
slate” in preparation for the final year of her term, though critics argued that the move
was aimed to bolster her chances at reelection by confronting corruption in her administration.
By early December 2010, Sirleaf had reconstituted her entire cabinet, replacing seven of her
nineteen ministers.====First Cabinet========Second Cabinet=======Judicial appointments===
Upon the inauguration of Sirleaf, the entire Supreme Court bench, which had been selected
as part of the transitional government in 2003, stepped down, leaving Sirleaf to fill
all five seats on the Court. Sirleaf nominated Johnnie Lewis, a Yale Law School graduate
and former Circuit Court judge, for the office of Chief Justice. Lewis and three of Sirleaf’s
Associate Justice nominees, J. Emmanuel Wureh, Francis Korkpor and Gladys Johnson, were confirmed
by the Senate on 2 March 2006. Sirleaf’s nomination of Kabineh Ja’neh, a former leader in the
rebel LURD movement, as Associate Justice received criticism from the opposition Congress
for Democratic Change due to concerns over Ja’neh’s human rights record during the civil
war, and Ja’neh was not confirmed until 9 May.Following the death of Justice Wureh in
July 2006, Sirleaf nominated Christiana Tah, a deputy minister at the Justice Ministry,
to fill his seat. However, the Senate later rejected Tah’s nomination, leading Sirleaf
to nominate her Minister of Youth and Sports, Jamesetta Howard Wolokollie, who was confirmed.
Justice Johnson retired from the Court on 26 March 2011 after reaching the constitutionally
mandated retirement age of seventy. Sirleaf nominated Phillip A. Z. Banks, her former
Minister of Justice and Chairman of the Law Reform Commission, to replace Johnson in August
2011. Banks was confirmed by the Senate on 20 August 2011.===International image===
Forbes magazine named Sirleaf as the 51st most powerful woman in the world in 2006.
In 2010, Newsweek listed her as one of the ten best leaders in the world, while Time
counted her among the top ten female leaders. That same year, The Economist called her “arguably
the best president the country has ever had.” In 2010, Sirleaf released her first book,
This Child Will Be Great: Memoir of a Remarkable Life by Africa’s First Woman President.==Personal life==
In 1956, Sirleaf married James Sirleaf, whom she later divorced. She grew up as a Presbyterian,
but later joined her husband’s Methodist faith. Sirleaf is the mother of four sons, and she
has ten grandchildren. She is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and an honorary
member of the Links, Incorporated. She is the aunt to American actress/comic Retta (born
Marietta Sirleaf) best known for her role as Donna Meagle on the NBC comedy Parks and
Recreation.Several of her children served in the Liberian government. Her son Robert
Sirleaf served as head of the National Oil Company of Liberia, another son Charles Sirleaf
holds a senior position at the Central Bank of Liberia and stepson Fombah Sirleaf heads
the National Security Agency, a body with responsibility for internal security. Other
members of the Sirleaf family are serving in other positions in government.She has been
accused of interfering with a criminal investigation involving her stepson Fombah and the agency
he leads. On resigning in October 2014, her Minister of Justice Christiana Tah, accused
President Sirleaf of interference with criminal investigation into the illegal seizure of
money from Korean businessmen by the NSA in a warrantless hotel raid in July 2014.===Paradise Papers===
In November 2017 an investigation conducted by the International Consortium of Investigative
Journalism cited her name in the list of politicians named in “Paradise Papers” allegations.==Awards==
Recipient of the 1988 Roosevelt Institute Freedom of Speech Award
Ralph Bunche International Leadership Award Grand commander Star of Africa Redemption
of Liberia Commandeur de l’Ordre du Togo (Commander of
the Order of Mono) 2006 Common Ground Award recipient, Search
for Common Ground 2006 Laureate of the Africa Prize for Leadership
for the Sustainable End of Hunger, The Hunger Project
2006 Distinguished Fellow, Claus M. Halle Institute for Global Learning, Emory University
2006 Awarded Honorary Doctor of Laws from Marquette University
2006 David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award from Synergos
2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award given by the United States,
awarded to Sirleaf by U.S. President George W. Bush on 5 November 2007
2008 Awarded Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Indiana University, Dartmouth College;
and Brown University. 2009 Awarded the EITI Award for “the rapid
progress the country has made towards implementation of the EITI”
2009 Awarded Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Tampa
2010 Awarded Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Yale University and Rutgers, The State
University of New Jersey 2010 Friend of the Media in Africa Award from
The African Editor’s Union 2011 Awarded Honorary Doctor of Laws degree
from Harvard University 2011 African Gender Award
2011 Nobel Peace Prize 2012 Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament
and Development As of 2014, she is listed as the 70th most
powerful woman in the world by Forbes. 2018 Won the 2017 version of the Ibrahim Prize
for Achievement in African Leadership==Bibliography====See also==Black Nobel Prize laureates
List of female Nobel laureates Iron Ladies of Liberia==
References====Sources====External links==
Liberia Executive Mansion official government website
“Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority salutes member Ellen Johnson Sirleaf”.
Biography Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia
includes final report Appearances on C-SPAN
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on IMDb Works by or about Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in
libraries (WorldCat catalog) Ellen Johnson Sirleaf collected news and commentary
at Forbes “Ellen Johnson Sirleaf collected news and
commentary”. The New York Times.Speeches Address to US Congress in Joint Session 15
March 2006 TXT PDF Sirleaf Speaks at U.S. Institute of Peace,
21 March 2006 (audio archive available) Liberian President Speaks to Georgetown Community,
17 October 2006Profiles and interviews “Profile: Liberia’s ‘Iron Lady'” on BBC News
Online, 23 November 2005 “Who Is President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf?”
on News Ghana, 1 November 2015 Top 100 Women in Politics: Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf,
Ermine Saner, The Guardian, 8 March 2011 “Ellen Johnson Sirleaf”. The Daily Show with
Jon Stewart. 21 April 2009. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Freedom Collection interview

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