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Through its work, the EJS Center envisions more voices heard, talents unleashed, and leaders launched that prioritize the aspirations of women.

Its mission is to champion women’s ascension to the highest levels of leadership and challenge systemic barriers to girls’ and women’s advancement.


The EJS Center aims to amplify the voice of women and girls in all spheres of life by increasing the representation of women in public service leadership roles in Africa.

Through a unique blend of programming, advocacy, archival research, and museum exhibitions, the EJS Center seeks to become a premier institution dedicated to advancing and sustaining women’s political and social development on the continent.


Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the first democratically elected woman president in Africa, leading Liberia from 2006-2018. A promoter of freedom, peace, justice, women’s empowerment and democratic rule, she led Liberia through reconciliation and recovery following the nation’s decade-long civil war, as well as the Ebola Crisis.

In 2011, she won the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in bringing women into the peacekeeping process and has garnered further acclaim for her achievements fostering economic, social, and political change. Recognized as a global leader for women’s empowerment, President Sirleaf has an unwavering commitment to improving the lives of Africans.

Founding the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development brings together her past accomplishments with a platform for the future.


According to observers, in the next twenty years, Africa’s combined GDP will be among the fastest growing in the world. This is a unique opportunity for all nations across the continent to strive for transformational change.

However, as long as Africa excludes our women and girls from full participation in and leadership of our societies, the transformational change the continent desperately needs will remain elusive.


We are also grateful for the generous support of Betsy Williams.