Leymah Gbowee, the founder and current president of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, is a women’s rights advocate, Liberian peace activist, and the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. Her foundation provides educational and leadership opportunities to girls, women, and youth to empower the next generation of peacebuilders and democratic leaders in West Africa.
Ms. Gbowee currently serves as executive director of the Women, Peace, and Security Program at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. She is also a member of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation, the World Refugee Council, and the African Women Leaders Network. Previously, Ms. Gbowee was the founding head of the Liberia Reconciliation Initiative, and cofounder and former executive director of Women Peace and Security Network Africa (WIPSEN-Africa). She was also a founding member and former Liberian coordinator of Women in Peacebuilding Network/West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WIPNET/WANEP). An alumnus of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals Advocates, Ms. Gbowee was a member of the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council during Canada’s G7 presidency in 2018.
In 2020, Ms. Gbowee joined the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, a multifaith committee dedicated to fostering peaceful coexistence through dialogue, and is currently a member of the prize committees of two major humanitarian awards: the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity and the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize.
Ms. Gbowee’s leadership during the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace campaign — which brought together Christian and Muslim women in a nonviolent movement that played a pivotal role in ending Liberia’s civil war in 2003 — is chronicled in her memoir, Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War, and in the award-winning documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell. The recipient of many honorary degrees, she holds an MA in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University.
Ms. Gbowee has been named one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in Gender Policy” by Apolitical and one of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” by Fortune magazine. She travels internationally to advocate for human rights, peace, and security.
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