MADAME LEYMAH GBOWEE BIOGRAPHY

Last Updated Wednesday, 29 March 2017

2011 Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee is a Liberian peace activist, trained social worker and women’s rights advocate. She 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 Peacebuilding Network/West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WIPNET/WANEP). Leymah 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, 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. 

Leymah 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 is also a Member of UNHCR’s Advisory group on Gender and forced displacement and protection. 

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, University of Alberta in Canada, Polytechnic University in Mozambique, University of Dundee, Scotland, Doctor of Humane Letters Dartmouth College in New Hampshire 2016, Cedar Crest University Pennsylvania. 

Leymah 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. Leymah 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 Activist in 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.