Building Democracy in Africa with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf speaking at the World Affairs Council of Oregon.
A charismatic, Harvard-educated leader in Liberian politics since the early 1970s, Johnson Sirleaf is the first woman to serve as the elected president of any African nation. She worked previously as an economist for the World Bank and as the director of a U.N. development agency in Africa. She now faces the challenge of leading her war-ravaged nation and region to its proper political and economic place in a globalized world.
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is the current president of Liberia and Africa's first elected female head of state. The Liberian elections commission announced her victory on November 23, 2005, following the 2005 election. She is the second elected black woman head of state in the world and also second of Liberia after Ruth Perry, and the third such head of government after Eugenia Charles of Dominica and Sylvie Kinigi of Burundi. She is often referred to as the "Iron Lady."