Mdm Leymah Gbowee is a Liberian peace activist, trained social worker and women’s rights advocate. In 2011, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace- building work. Mdm Gbowee is Founder and current President of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa. She also founded the Liberia Reconciliation Initiative and Co- Founder and former Executive Director of Women Peace and Security Network Africa (WIPSEN-A). She is also a founding member and former Liberia Coordinator of Women in Peace building Network/West Africa Network for Peace building (WIPNET/WANEP).
Mdm Gbowee currently serves as a member of the High-Level Task Force for the International Conference on Population and Development. She is a Board Member of the Federation of Liberian Youth. Leymah’s leadership of the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace – 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, and in the documentary, Pray the Devil Back to Hell. In addition, Mdm Gbowee is the Newsweek Daily Beast’s Africa columnist. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Gbowee Peace Foundation and the PeaceJam Foundation, and she is a member of the African Women Leaders Network for Reproductive Health and Family Planning. She has been an Oxfam Global Ambassador since 2013. She is also a member of the International Honorary Committee of the Global Biosphere Institute and the Aurora Prize Selection Committee.
She holds a M.A. in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, VA), and a Doctor of Laws (LLD) honoris causa from Rhodes University in South Africa and University of Alberta in Canada. Mdm Gbowee was honored as a flag-bearer for the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. After receiving the Barnard College Medal of Distinction, she was named as a Distinguished Fellow in Social Justice and a Visiting Transnational Fellow at the Center for Research on Women, and Fellow in Residence at the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College for the 2013/2014 academic year. She was on August 20, 2016 awarded the Lifetime Africa Achievement Price (LAAP) for Peace in Africa by the Millennium Excellence Foundation. She is currently a distinguished residence scholar at the Union Seminary in New York, a Member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Advocacy Group and a proud mother of seven children.