We are pleased and honored to welcome Mr Haddis Tadesse as a special guest and panel speaker at the 5th Africa Business Forum 01 March 2017. He is the Deputy Director for Africa and the Country Representative for Ethiopia and the African Union at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where he oversees partnership across the region and investments in Ethiopia’s agricultural development, health, financial services, water and sanitation, urban development and emergency relief by building diplomatic relations with key partners and stakeholders, including African governments, African Union and UN officials; donors; private sector decision-makers; NGOs and members of the press.
Haddis has been with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation since 2008 where he managed government relations work in Africa from Seattle before moving to the Ethiopia office of the foundation. Previous to joining the Gates Foundation, Haddis was a senior policy advisor to Greg Nickels, Mayor of Seattle, Washington. Haddis’s role was to advise the Mayor and his cabinet on citywide policies for human services, public health, housing and civil rights. He also led outreach to immigrants and refugees and implemented several new initiatives to support these communities.
A US citizen of Ethiopian origin, Haddis has lived and worked in the United States for nearly 25 years. He earned a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Washington and has completed development leadership training at the prestigious Harvard Kennedy School. He has held fellowships at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the European Union and the World Affairs Council and has provided keynote speeches on African business, economics and development at various conferences and universities. Haddis is or has been on the Board of the World Affairs Council, the Global Agenda Council on Africa / World Economic Forum (WEF), African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnerships (ACHAP), Food Agriculture Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), the International Leadership Academy of Ethiopia (ILAE) and several other organizations.