Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was born on October 29, 1938, in Monrovia, Liberia. A graduate of the College of West Africa at Monrovia, she went on to receive her bachelor's degree in accounting from the Madison Business College in Madison, Wisconsin, a degree in economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard University.
[font=times, serif]After many years in politics, Sirleaf ran in the 2005 Liberian presidential election and won. This made her the first elected female head of state in Africa.[/font]Five years later, she shared the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize with Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman, awarded "for their nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work."
[color=#343b40]Since being elected in to office, President Sirleaf has turned much of her focus to education, which had been neglected during the many years of conflict. Her administration enforced compulsory primary education, which doubled school enrollment. Several community colleges were opened in order to increase post-secondary education. In 2006, the Girls' Education National Policy was launched to encourage the education of every girl child to stimulate social and economic growth within the community. [/color]
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