Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Maryland law professor was adviser to Nobel laureate

When University of Maryland law professor Larry Gibson was asked to become involved with the Liberian presidential campaign of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, he initially declined. But she ultimately won him over, and his efforts helped her become Africa's first elected female head of state in 2005.

Gibson was therefore elated when he heard that Sirleaf had become one of three recipients for this year's Nobel Peace Prize, along with fellow Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee and Yemeni activist Tawakkul Karman. The Norwegian Nobel Committee said on the Peace Prize website that the three women were chosen for their struggle for nonviolence, women's rights and peace.

"I am bursting...