The Early Years of Nobel Prize Winner Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Carol RoachStarred Page By Carol Roach, 8th Oct 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Culture>Social Trends

The 2011 Nobel peace prize winners have been awarded to three very brave women for their outstanding efforts to make this world a better place. Unfortunately, Montreal and the rest of Canada have yet to produce a female Nobel prize winner but we will. It is just a matter of time.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

2011 year’s female Nobel prize winners were Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Lemah Gbowee, and Tawakkol Karman. has yet to put up the biographies of these outstanding women.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is currently the president of Liberia. She is the only democratically elected female of state in all of Africa.

Sirleaf’s heritage is Gola, (a Western Liberian Tribe) German, and Kru (interior Liberian tribe known for its strong resistance to oppression).. Her father, Jahmale Carney Johnson was a son of a chief but born into poverty. He became the first ethnic group Liberian to have a seat in Liberia’s legislature.

Sirleaf grew up in Montrovia and studied accounts and economics at the University of West Africa from 1948 to 1955.She was married to James Sirleaf at the tender age of 17 and migrated to the United States where she completed her accounting degree at the Madison Business College in Madison Wisconsin.

“In 1970, she studied at the Economics Institute – an affiliate summer program of the Department of Economics at the University of Colorado Boulder. Sirleaf 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 native Liberia to work under the government of William Tolbert”.

Sirleaf had a rocky start in politics serving as the Minister of Finance in 1972 -1973. She resigned over finance issues. She publicly criticized her former Master Sergeant Samuel Doe which led to her accepting a position in the new government but ending up fleeing the country.

Sirleaf gets arrested

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is currently the president of Liberia. She is the only democratically elected female of state in all of Africa.

Before returning to Africa, Sirleaf moved to Washington, D.C. where she worked for the World Bank. She returned to Africa and settled in Nairobi, Kenya in 1981 to be the head of the African Reginal Bank for Citibank. Following the election in 1992 she went to work at Equator Bank.

United Nations

Here is where her life changed direction. She was Assistant Administrator, then Director, of the United Nations Development Programme's Regional Bureau for Africa. “ 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 two international experts selected by UNIFEM to sexual assault 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 Pubic Administration (GIMPA).”

Elections - 1985

Sirleaf had originally intended on running for the Vice President’s Office back in 1987, but when she returned home she was put under arrest and then she was charged with sedition due to her speech against the Doe Regime. The was such a public outcry from the world that Doe decided to give her back her freedom and she ran for a senate seat instead.

The Doe government was re-elected but the government was criticized for being anything but fair and democratic. Sirleaf refused to accept the seat because of that. Doe once again had her arrested but then set her free.

President of Liberia

Elections - 1997

The 1997 first Liberian Civil war brought about a new government which Sirleaf first supported but then opposed. She came back to Liberia just to contest the election. The blood bath continued and UN Peace Keepers were brought in to restore calm to the troubled nation. Sirleaf ran for the Unity party. She did not win but came in second. After the election she left again exiled, this time to Abidjan.

Elections 2005

At the end of the second Liberian Civil War, Sirleaf was nominated for chairman of the new government but lost to Gyude Bryant a neutrally political personage. Sirleaf did serve as his head of the Governance Reform Commission.

Sirleaf ran for president in the 2007 general election and lost out to football celebrity George Weah. Again there was an investigation into this election as well and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was declared President of Liberia.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf had her inauguration on 16 January 2006. There were many foreign dignitaries present including United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and First Lady Laura Bush.

to be continued

All photos taken from the public domain

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Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Femaile Nobel Prize Winners, Nobel Prize, Nobel Prize Winners, President Of Liberia, Samuel Doe, William Tolbert

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author avatar Carol Roach
Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
9th Oct 2015 (#)

Great post Carol and woman as well hope the overcomes all of the obstacles and settles a true democracy to be seen as an example in all of Africa

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
9th Oct 2015 (#)

An excellent post about and excellent woman Carol
Well deserved star page
God bless you
Stella ><

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author avatar Shamarie
9th Oct 2015 (#)

Great article, Carol! Congrats on the star page!!!

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
12th Oct 2015 (#)

Hope she is the harbinger of hope for a troubled continent trying to find its real place under the sun - siva

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