Media Advisory

Liberian president speaks on campus this Thursday

Contact: Kathleen Maclay, Media Relations
(510) 643-5651

06 April 2009

ATTENTION: Political and international affairs writers and editors


Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf will discuss her country's struggle for peace and justice as part of a series hosted by the Human Rights Center at the University of California, Berkeley, "Bearing Witness to Atrocity: A MacArthur Symposium on International Criminal Justice."

Johnson-Sirleaf's address will be moderated by author and journalist Adam Hochschild. Questions from the public and journalists will be handled by Hochshild. Johnson-Sirleaf will not be doing one-on-one interviews at the event.


Chevron Auditorium at International House, 2299 Piedmont Avenue, Berkeley, at the intersection of Piedmont and Bancroft Way. See campus map at:


This Thursday, April 9, from 7-8:30 p.m. Members of the media should arrive by 6 p.m. for a security clearance and press credential check. For security reasons, no one will be admitted into the auditorium after doors close promptly at 7 p.m.


Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf


Dubbed the "Iron Lady," Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is Africa's first elected female head of state. After growing up in Monrovia, Liberia's capital, she traveled to the United States in 1961 and studied at the University of Colorado and Harvard University. After a brief stint as Liberia's minister of finance, she launched a three-decade political career in which she frequently contested Liberia's presidential frontrunners. In the 1980s, she was imprisoned for challenging the country's military regime. Twice she escaped into exile, during which time she served as director of the United Nations Development Program for Africa. In 2005, she ran for president of Liberia against former soccer star George Weah, and won.