Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is a Liberian politician who served as the 24th President of Liberia from 2006 to 2018. She was the first elected female head of state in Africa.
Prior to her presidency, Sirleaf had a distinguished career in the public and private sectors, serving in various positions in the Liberian government, the United Nations, and international financial institutions.
The Liberian leader was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011, along with Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman, “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work”.
As President, Sirleaf focused on rebuilding Liberia’s war-ravaged infrastructure, strengthening the economy, and improving access to education and healthcare. She also worked very hard to reduce corruption and promote transparency in government. Sirleaf’s leadership during the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa was widely praised, and she played a key role in mobilizing international support to contain the virus.