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October 10, 2011 — Dr. Estrada Bernard, professor emeritus and Chief of UNC’s Division of Neurosurgery from 1997 through 2004, shared news that his aunt, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, was among those awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2011.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Johnson Sirleaf, a Harvard-educated economist and Africa’s first democratically elected female president, shares the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize with Leymah Gbowee, also of Liberia, and Tawakkul Karman, of Yemen. The Norwegian Nobel Committee acknowledged the three “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work” and expressed the hope that the prize will help “bring an end to the suppression of women… and to realise the great potential for democracy and peace that women can represent.”

President Johnson Sirleaf is the aunt of Estrada Bernard, MD, who left UNC in 2005 for a private practice position with Anchorage Neurosurgical Associates in Anchorage, Alaska.