My Improbable Journey and the Rise of Africa’s First Woman President
by K. Riva Levinson
“A deeply moving story of two extraordinary women, from very different backgrounds who worked together through thick and thin and achieved so much” – Joyce Banda, former President of Malawi
“A magnificent book that includes adventure, perseverance, compassion, and commitment . . .
deeply personal and thoughtful” – Lloyd Pierson, former Director of U.S. Peace Corps
The rise of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to become the president of Liberia and the first woman elected to lead an African nation is one of the most inspiring stories of our time. But Sirleaf could not have done it alone. Among the people who helped her achieve her victory was Washington, D.C.-based international consultant and lobbyist K. Riva Levinson. CHOOSING THE HERO is Levinson’s compelling account of her life and career, and how she joined forces with Sirleaf to fight for a cause bigger than either of them.
With gripping anecdotes, Levinson describes her adventures working in some of the most dangerous places on earth from Mogadishu to Baghdad. But it is her efforts on behalf of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf that form the heart of CHOOSING THE HERO. Levinson chronicles her behind-the-scenes lobbying for the exiled Sirleaf in Washington, D.C. as well as her on-the-ground work in Liberia. It took three tries for Sirleaf to finally win the presidency in 2006. Since inauguration, President Sirleaf, who won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, has transformed her war-ravaged country into one of the world’s post-conflict success stories.
CHOOSING THE HERO is a truly unique book that can be read on many levels.
It is an exciting narrative about Sirleaf’s struggle to create a future for Liberia. It’s a bird’s-eye view of the inner workings of the lobbying/public relations business in Washington, D.C. and the making of U.S. foreign policy. But most of all, it is Riva Levinson’s personal story of how she found a hero, fought for a worthy cause, and in the process, discovered her soul.