The University of Gondar has awarded Dr Eleni Gabre-Madhin with an Honorary Doctorate for her contributions to the socio-economic development of the country and beyond. This year marked the launch of the University’s Honorary Doctorate Award and it is with great pride that the Senate and the University community have decided to honor this prominent model of female might during the annual graduation ceremony held on 6 July 2013. Dr Eleni was presented with her Honorary Doctorate by Dr Sintayehu Wolde-Michael, Director of the Government Finance Agency and Chairman of the University of Gondar Board.
Dr Eleni Gabre-Madhin is the Founder and former Chief Executive Officer of the highly acclaimed Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX). She founded and managed the ECX from 2008 to late 2012, successfully trading $1.2 billion annually after 3 years of operation.
A globally recognized thought leader on agricultural commodity markets and African development, she has held prior roles at the World Bank, the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington and UNCTAD in Geneva. Dr Eleni has a PhD in Applied Economics from Stanford University, an MSc in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University and a BA in Economics from Cornell University where she was also awarded Outstanding Dissertation by the American Agricultural Economics Association in 1999 for her research on Ethiopian grain markets.
A prominent figure, Dr Eleni has been named among the 125 Global Women of Impact by Newsweek in April 2013 and the 100 Most Influential Africans by New African in 2012. She has received the prestigious Yara Prize for Agricultural Transformation in Africa and the African Banker Icon Award both in 2012. She was named among 50 Women Shaping Africa by The African Report 2011, nominated as Outstanding African Business Woman in 2010 and selected as Ethiopian Person of the Year in 2009. ECX is the first company in Africa to receive the prestigious global CIO100 Award for It excellence applied to business in 2011 and was also named Agricultural Initiative of the Year by African Investor in 2011.
Dr Eleni Ganre-Madhin has been featured in the PBS/Wide Angle television 1 hour documentary title The Market Maker, which aired across the US in July 2009. Her work has also been covered extensively by the international media including the Wall Street Journal (USA), Washington Post (USA), Financial Times (UK), The Guardian (UK), The Economist (UK), Der Spiegel (Ger.), Japan Times, Christian Science Monitor, Bloomberg, Reuters, CNN, BBC, RAI Italia, France Arte, African Business and The African Report.
She is also a sought after public speaker participating in various high level forums including the World Economic Forum, Time/CNN Global CEO Forum, World Export Development Forum, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Clinton Global Initiative, Mo Ibrahim Forum and TED. She was also invited to address G8 leaders at Camp David in May 2012 during the joint session with African leaders on the New Alliance for Food Security in Africa.
Dr Eleni is currently the Co-Founder and Chief Executive of Eleni LLC, a newly formed company with equity investments by Morgan Stanley, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and 8 Miles Fund, that is positioned to be the industry leader in designing, building and supporting the operations of commodity exchange eco-systems in frontier markets.
The University of Gondar Senate, by virtue of the powers invested in it by the Council of Ministers Regulation No. 241/2011, has conferred the
Honorary Doctorate title of Doctor of Humane Letters D.H.L. to Dr Eleni Gabre-Madhin in appreciation and recognition of her work – specifically the socioeconomic contributions that she has made by establishing and effectively running the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange for the benefit of the Ethiopian farmer and the country at large.