Tickets are required for entry into Arthur Lewis Auditorium. At this time tickets are no longer available.
A waitline will form outside of Arthur Lewis Auditorium beginning at 4 p.m. to fill any unclaimed seats. A simulcast will be held in Robertson Hall, 016 for those unable to obtain a seat in Arthur Lewis Auditorium.
As president of Liberia from 2006 to 2018, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was the first democratically elected female head of state in Africa and is known worldwide as a leading advocate for freedom, peace, justice, women’s empowerment and democratic rule. The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner (along with two additional recipients), Johnson Sirleaf was recognized for her struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in democratic processes and peace-building work.
Johnson Sirleaf is renowned for her efforts to promote peace, reconciliation and recovery following Liberia’s decade-long civil war, as well as social and economic development in the country in which she was born. During her two terms as president, she attracted more than $16 billion in foreign direct investment and more than $5 million in private resources, to focus on goals such as rebuilding schools, clinics and markets.
Prior to being elected president, she served in the transitional government, chairing the Governance Reform Commission and leading Liberia’s anti-corruption reform. And, prior to the military coup of 1980, she worked as Liberia’s minister of finance, introducing measures to curb the mismanagement of government finances. She has held prominent positions within the banking industry and at the United Nations.
Johnson Sirleaf was elected the first female chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States for a 12-month term in 2016. In 2011, among her innumerable honors, Forbes named her the most powerful woman in Africa, and in 2010, Newsweek named her among the 10 best leaders in the world. Johnson Sirleaf is the recipient of the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom and France’s Croix of the Légion d’Honneur. She is the author of many works on financial, development and human rights issues, as well as a memoir, “This Child Will Be Great.”
Johnson Sirleaf is visiting the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs as part of its Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation Leadership through Mentorship Program.