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Leymah Gbowee

2013 Speaker

Leymah Gbowee is the 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate. She is a Liberian peace activist, trained social worker and women’s rights advocate. She is founder and president of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, head of the Liberia Reconciliation Initiative and co-founder and 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). Gbowee’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 Nobel Women’s Initiative and the PeaceJam Foundation. She holds an M.A. in conflict transformation from Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, VA). She is based in Monrovia, Liberia and is the mother of six.