The Board of Directors

The General Assembly and the Board of Directors (BOD) are the key governing organs of HESPI.  The Board comprises 9 members from academia, public policy making officials, private sector, and civil society. The Management of the Institute has day-to-day responsibilities of the operations of HESPI to ensure adherence to its objectives and materialization of planned activities. The BOD is responsible for oversight and establishing broad policies, the approval of Work Plans and Budgets (WPBs), Audited financial statements,  recruitment and evaluation of senior staff; and selection of the external auditor(s) of the Institute.

The By-Laws, and the Board of Governance Charter, Related Codes and Policy Documents, constitute the corporate governance and management framework, and provide for clear separation of powers between the BOD and Management.

The management of the Institute is headed by the Managing Director (MD) who is also an ex-officio member of BOD. The MD is provides overall intellectual leadership to the Institute and the implementation of the project. In playing this role, the MD is assisted by the Director of Research,  Senior Research Fellows (SRF), Programs Manager (PM), and Accounts Manager (AM).  The core technical staff members at HESPI are complemented by a number of senior associates and associates including, economic and social research experts and specialists in private and financial sectors issues, economic and financial governance, institutional capacity building and economic integration. These associates are supplemented by consultants on short-term assignments. The Institute’s operations are underpinned by annual WPB, developed by the management and approved by  BOD.

The Board of Directors (as of January 2017)


Ambassador Peter G. Robleh (chair person)

amb_peter_robAmb. Peter G. Robleh has PhD in International Relations. He is currently the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Horn Economic and Social Policy Institute. Amb. Robleh was a senior regional advisor on international trade at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in Addis Ababa (2001-2011). He was Ambassador of Ethiopia to the Benelux Council and European Commission (1993-2001); UN staff member for over a decade in Western Asia, and Associate Professor at California State University, USA. He has extensive experience in economic and social policy development in the Horn of Africa region.


Ms.Mary Muduuli (vice chairperson)

maryMary is a Ugandan national and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Rural Economy from the University of Makerere, Kampala, and a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics, from the University of Manitoba, Canada. Mary has long experience in development work, and economic reforms formulation and management, especially in Public Expenditure Management and partnerships with different development stakeholders. She started her career in the Uganda Civil Service in 1972, serving at different levels in the Ministries of Agriculture, Planning and Economic Development and finally at Finance, Planning and Economic Development, where she retired as Deputy Secretary to the Treasury. In 2005-13, Ms.Muduuli worked with international financial institutions; first with the World Bank as an Operations Officer (2005-08) and later with the African Development Bank at the East African Constituency Office of seven countries, as the Alternate Executive Director and later as the Executive Director at the AfDB Board of Directors (2008-13). On return to Uganda at end of 2013, she was appointed to the Executive Board of the National Planning Authority (Feb 2014 to date).International Advisory Panel: HESPI has an international advisory panel which comprises a prestigious group of experts from the sub-region and abroad who have a strong commitment and passion for economic and social development of the Horn of Africa and other low income countries.

Mr. Wassihun Abate (Secretary)

wassihunMr Wassihun is Ethiopian national. He Has an LLB Degree in Law from Addis Ababa University. He is the current  Secretary of the Board of Directors of HESPI. Mr. Abate has worked for many years at the Ministry of Finance of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE). He has been the head of the Legal Department of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development since 2006. Mr. Abate is a member of the Board of Directors of several other organizations.


Dr. Ali Issa Abdi (Ex-officio member)

dr-aliHe is the current Managing Director of the Horn Economic and Social Policy Institute. He has a PhD in Economics and an MBA in International Finance. He was a senior economist and manager at the International Monetary Fund for many years, and a Senior Representative of the IMF in Tanzania and in Ethiopia. Dr. Ali worked as an economist with Citibank and the Central Bank of Somalia; and taught economics at universities in the United States. He provided macroeconomic policy advice in many countries (in Africa, Middle East and Western Hemisphere) and published widely on economic issues.


Dr. Lual Deng

lual_dengHe has PhD in Development Economics . He is the Managing Director of the Ebony Center for Strategic Studies located in Juba, South Sudan. He is a former Minister of Petroleum of the Sudan (2010-- 11) and a State Minister for Finance (2005-10). He was senior economic advisor to the South Sudanese government, (2000-04). Dr. Deng was Consultant to the World Bank and UN agencies (1995-00). He worked as Division Chief, Environment and Social Policy, African Development Bank (1991-95). He has written extensively on economic and social development Issues in the Sudan and the Greater Horn of Africa.

Dr. Halima Noor

Dr Halima is Tanzanian national. She has a Bachelor of Law from Nairobi University (1983-86), Masters in Comparative Law and PhD in International Law (1991-97) from Stockholm University. She worked as a Researcher at the Faculty of Law, Stockholm University (1994-97), and as Program Officer in charge of trade with Eco-News Africa, Nairobi (1997-2001). Between 2002-05, Dr. Noor worked as an International Consultant with UNDP Somalia and with the Kenyan government under the European Union Post Lome Trade Negotiations. Since 2005 she has worked at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Interregional Advisory Services in Switzerland, as Regional Advisor.

Dr. Osman Sh. Ahmed

osman_ahmedHe has PhD in Economics and is Senior Manager of Islamic Development Bank, Saudi Arabia (2008-), Senior Economist and Manager at the World Bank Group, Washington D.C. (1985- 07). He worked in many countries in Africa, Middle East and Asia as Policy Advisor and was the World Bank Representative in Yemen for three years. He worked at the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group. Dr. Osman was a Senior Associate, Morgan Newman Associates Inc. (1983-85) and University Lecturer and Financial Analyst (1970-78). He has numerous publications in academic and professional journals, and has published several books.

Dr. Ismail Wais

ismael_waisDr. Ismail Wais has a Ph.D. in economics and social science from the University of Osnabrück. Since 2005, Dr. Ismail has been economic advisor to the President of Djibouti in charge of bilateral relations between Djibouti and Germany, and focal person for Somalia. He worked for more than 23 years in development cooperation in the Greater Horn of Africa region (including Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia and Uganda), Southern Africa (Zimbabwe), and Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. He also worked for German and international private and public organizations of development cooperation, including the German Foundation for International Cooperation (DSE), German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ); German Agency for Technical Relief (THW); UNDP and EU sponsored projects in Ethiopia. As early as 1982 he trained young professionals and experts in development cooperation to enhance the capacity and skills of staff of German organizations in country briefing (for Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Somalia) on cooperation, projects management and cross-cultural communication.

Mr. Elias Habte Selassie

elias2He was born in Eritrea but lived and studied in Ethiopia since the age of 14. He has since then lived in several countries such as Italy, UK and USA and finally acquired citizenship of The Netherlands in 1986. He at present lives in Nairobi, Kenya.
Mr. Elias possesses B.Sc. Degree in Agricultural Engineering with a Minor in Economics, LL.B. Degree in Law and M.Sc. in Development Studies. He has over 40 years work experience in various institutions and capacities, such as a Legal Adviser in the Awash Valley Authority in river basin development, Senior Loan Officer in a Development Bank, a researcher and lecturer in academic institutions like the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, Netherlands, University of Berkeley in California, and as a Program Officer with United Nations in Somalia, among others.
Major areas of studies and work experience include forced migration and conflict transformation and peace building, capacity enhancement of local partners, sustainable development and natural resources management.  Mr. Elias has produced several papers and reports on socio-political and economic issues.