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2009: Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Women and Politics Series

Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
President of Liberia
"A Conversation with Furman President David Shi"

April 13, 2009
McAlister Auditorium
Furman University

Her Excellency Ellen John Sirleaf is named one of the three women's rights activists
to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011. Read more

The Riley Institute at Furman welcomed Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, known as Africa’s “Iron Lady,” to Furman University on Monday, April 13, 2009. Her talk, a conversation with Furman President David E. Shi, was held in McAlister Auditorium. Over 1,000 students, Furman faculty and staff, and community members attended this remarkable event. To view the program, click here.

Johnson Sirleaf is the first woman elected to lead an African nation. A graduate of Harvard University and a former World Bank economist, she won the presidency in 2005 with almost 60 percent of the vote. The race initially included 22 men and pitted her against a popular former soccer player in Europe, George Weah, in a run-off.

To view the video from this event, click here.

Head of a country of some 3.5 million people on the west coast of Africa, Johnson Sirleaf has been recognized for her courage and commitment to expanding freedom and improving the lives of the people of war-torn Liberia and others across the African continent.

In 2006, Forbes magazine named her the 51st most powerful woman in the world. Sirleaf has served on international panels investigating issues from genocide in Rwanda to the role that women can play as peacemakers. She is the founder of Measuagoon, a nonprofit organization in Liberia involved in community development and the education of girls.

Press Coverage

Furman University press release; The Greenville News; SCBIZ; allAfrica.com; The Greenville News; The Washington Post penned by Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; and a video clip from WYFF4.