Leymah Roberta Gbowee (Liberian/Ghana)

Leymah GboweeA Social Worker by Profession, Leymah has over ten years been a Case Worker and Peacebuilding Practitioner. She is presently the Executive Director of Women Peace and Security Network Africa (WIPSEN-Africa).As a Case Worker; she worked with the Ministry of Health Displaced Shelter as a Counsellor for refugees from September 1995 to March 1996, LCL/LWF/WS Trauma Programme from May 1998 to March 2003.

She was also the Liberian Programme Coordinator for Women in Peacebuilding(WANEP) from December 2001 to December 2005.She also worked as a Commissioner Designate for Liberia Truth and Reconciliation Commission from February 2004 to October 2005.From June 2006 to May 2007, she was a Regional Consultant for Women Peace and Security Network Africa (WIPSEN-Africa).In July 2007, she was appointed the Executive Director of the said company.

In recognition of her role in the Liberian Peace Process, the Women's Leadership Board of the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University gave its 2007 Blue Ribbon Award to her. She is the central character of a documentary entitled "Pray the Devil Back to Hell", a file accepted into the Tribeca Film Festival which will take place from April 24 to May 4, 2008 in New York. She will also be honoured by The White House Project on April 17, 2008 and by the E-Women news on May 21, 2008 as one of the 21st century leaders. She is the guest of honour for the global Fund for Women 2008 gala.

Ms. Gbowee holds a MA in Conflict Transformation from the Eastern Mennonite University and is a mother of five.

Thelma Ariemebi Ekiyor (Nigeria/Ghana) 

image previewMs. Thelma Ekiyor is currently the Executive Director of the TY Danjuma Foundation after serving for close to ten years as Executive Director for the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). Prior to this she served as Senior Manager for Conflict Intervention and Peacebuilding Support at the Centre for Conflict Resolution (University of Cape Town), South Africa. Before that, Ms. Ekiyor worked as the Director of Programs for The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) in West Africa. Ms. Ekiyor serves as a resource person on conflict prevention and peacebuilding to the United Nations (UNIFEM, UNDESA, and UNITAR), the Africa Union, and Regional Economic Communities (specifically ECOWAS, IGAD and ECCAS). She has developed indigenous training tools on peacebuilding in Africa and has written and published extensively on peace and security on the continent. Ms. Ekiyor is a Lawyer by training and specializes in Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Ecoma Bassey Alaga (Nigeria/Ghana)

Ecoma AlagaMs. Ecoma Alaga served as Director of Programmes at WIPSEN-Africa for about five years. Currently she is pursuing a Doctoral degree in her field of work.  Prior to this, she worked for the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) in Senegal as Programmes Manager; and for the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) as Regional Coordinator of its Women in Peacebuilding program, and Coordinator of its peace institute, the West Africa Peacebuilding Institute (WAPI). She is a trainer, facilitator and consultant on gender, peace and security and has consulted for the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), the Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR), the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), the West Africa Network on Security and Democratic Governance (WANSED), the University of Peace (UPEACE) in Costa Rica, and the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) to mention a few. She has worked with gender ministries/women's bureaus across West Africa; and with the ECOWAS Gender Development Centre on gender, peace and security related issues. She holds an MSc in Humanitarian and Refugee Studies (Peace and Conflict Studies) and a BSc in Political Science.