Ellen Johnson Sirleaf: The Iron Lady
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is the 24th president of Liberia, and also the country’s first female head of state. Coming back from two exiles, Sirleaf returned home to Liberia only to find it devastated by civil war. Her leadership in the following years helped foster a recovery in Liberia’s ravaged economy, improved international relationships and provided a better standard of living.
President Sirleaf has endured “death threats, incarceration and exile” which allowed her a new perspective to lead the people to a better future. She saw the corruption during her time spent in prison and years of exile (Drew Faust). Johnson often made visits to Liberia as she was completing her education in America. From year 1965-1979 Sirleaf worked with the Liberian Government as the financial specialist. In 1980 Tolbert was deposed and executed by Samuel K. Doe. Doe made Sirleaf president of the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment, Ellen served in that position for a very short time. She resigned when the extent of Doe’s human rights abuses became clear (Gale). Sirleaf was willing to leave a position of much power because she knew Doe’s intentions were only for himself, not to benefit the people of Liberia.
“With her life at risk from Doe’s military forces, she went into exile in Kenya, where she worked as vice president of Citicorp and as a senior loan officer for the World Bank. In 1985, Sirleaf returned to Liberia to run for a seat in the