6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Madame President: The Extraordinary Journey of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Webcast available

Webcast Recap

Madame President Book CoverWhen Ellen Johnson Sirleaf won the 2005 Liberian presidential election, she demolished a barrier few thought possible, obliterating centuries of patriarchal rule to become the first female elected head of state in Africa’s history.

Madame President is the inspiring, often heartbreaking story of Sirleaf’s evolution from an ordinary Liberian mother of four boys to international banking executive, from a victim of domestic violence to a political icon, from a post-war president to a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

On March 13, 2017, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, bestselling author and New York Times Correspondent Helene Cooper joined the Wilson Center to discuss Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s personal story and the larger narrative of the coming of age of Liberian women.

03-13-2017 Helene Cooper



  • Helene Cooper

    Public Policy Fellow
    White House Correspondent, The New York Times