Women Wednesday: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of the Republic of Liberia addressing the media during her State visit to South Africa. Photo: GCIS on Flickr.

“The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.”

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was the first democratically elected female President in any African country. She served as President of Liberia from 2006-2018 and shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkoi Karman in 2011. Upon completion of her presidency, President Johnson Sirleaf was the first woman awarded the Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. She is using the award money to establish the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development to “support women as agents of change, makers of peace, and drivers of progress.”