President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Honorary Chair, Embark Circle
Nobel Peace Laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is a leading promoter of freedom, peace, justice, women’s empowerment and democratic rule. As Africa’s first democratically-elected female head of state, she led Liberia through reconciliation and recovery following the nation’s decade-long civil war, as well as the Ebola Crisis, winning international acclaim for achieving economic, social, and political change. Recognized as a global leader for women’s empowerment, President Sirleaf was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2011.
In 2018, she joined the ranks of Africa’s most admired and accomplished leaders, including Nelson Mandela, as the first woman honored with the Mo Ibrahim Prize, considered the most prestigious award for African leaders. This Prize is offered to those who have developed their countries, strengthened democracy and human rights for the shared benefit of their people, and advanced sustainable development. She is also the recipient of The Presidential Medal of Freedom—the United States’ highest civilian award—for her personal courage and unwavering commitment to expanding freedom and improving the lives of Africans.
President Sirleaf’s many other honors include the Grand Croix of the Légion d’Honneur, France’s highest public distinction, and being named one of Forbes’s “100 Most Powerful Women in the World.” President Sirleaf has been ranked the most powerful woman in Africa (Forbes Africa, 2011), one of six “Women of the Year” (Glamour, 2010), among the 10 best leaders in the world (Newsweek, 2010) and top 10 female leaders (TIME, 2010).