Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

(b. 1938)

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(b. 29 Oct 1938).

President of Liberia, 2006–  Born in Monrovia, she studied economics at Harvard and became State Secretary in the Finance Ministry under President Tolbert in 1972. She served Samuel Doe as Finance Minister, but became his critic. She was imprisoned for a sentence of 10 years, but managed to escape to the USA. There she became the Director of the Africa programme of the UN Development Programme. She returned to Liberia in 1997, but lost the elections to Charles Taylor. In 2003 she joined the transitional government, and in 2006 was elected Africa's first female President. She fought against corruption ferociously, with unorthodox means. She fired all employees of the Finance Ministry, and called an international committee of experts to supervise the proper use of government and international funds.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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