Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Born October 29th, 1938) is the 24th and current President of Liberia.
She served as the Minister of Finance under President William Tolbert from 1979 until the 1980 coup d’état, after which she left Liberia and held senior positions at various financial institutions.
She placed a very distant second in the 1997 presidential election. Later, she was elected President in the 2005 presidential election and took office on 16th January 16th, 2006.
Sirleaf is the first and currently the only elected female head of state in Africa. In 1956, Sirleaf got married to James Sirleaf, whom she later divorced. She is a mother of four sons and has eight grandchildren.
Last week, Sirleaf was awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, along with Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Tawakel Karman of Yemen.
The women were recognized “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights and full participation in peace-building work.