HESPI Management

Managing Director


Dr. Ali Issa Abdi is the current Managing Director of the Horn Economic and Social Policy Institute (HESPI), a think tank and research Institute that focuses on the Greater Horn of Africa and developing countries in general.  He has a PhD in Economics and an MBA in International Finance. Dr. Ali is also the executive Director of the National Economic Council of Somalia. He was a senior economist and manager at the International Monetary Fund for many years including as an Advisor in the African region, and Senior Resident Representative in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda. Dr. Ali provided macroeconomic policy advice and technical assistance to more than 30 countries in Africa, Middle East and the Western Hemisphere, during his career at the IMF. Other professional experience includes work as an economist at Citibank (NY) and the Central Bank of Somalia; and lecturer in economics at universities in the United States. His publications include books on commercial banking, economic development, and public finance management and governance, as well as many articles on fiscal and monetary issues, policy reforms in low income countries, and trade and regional integration matters.

Associate Managing Director

Amb. Peter G. Robleh has PhD in International Relations. He is currently the Associate Managing Director 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.

Programs Director


Mr. Daniel Fantaye  is currently the programs director of HESPI. He holds MA in development studies and BSC in Agricultural Science. He worked with several development institutions at various capacities in the areas of food security, livelihoods development, humanitarian action in vulnerable settings. He was a country programs manager for Oxfam Spain, Country Director for Winrock International in Ethiopia where he managed diverse country programs. He executed research and development programs which have direct bearing on poverty alleviation with SOS Sahel (UK), Save the children (UK) and Action Aid Ethiopia

Director of Research

Dr. Gebrehiwot

Dr. Gebrehiwot Ageba Kebedew is currently the Director of Research of HESPI. He has a DPhil in economics (Oxford University) and an MPhil in Monetary Economics (University of Glasgow). He worked as Director of Programmes of the Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI); Senior Economics Advisor (UNDP Malawi CO); Dean and Associate Professor (Faculty of Business and Economics, AAU); Member of the University Senate and the Council of Graduate Studies (AAU); Board member and Chairman of Loan Review Committee (Commercial Bank of Ethiopia); Member of the Board of Trustees of the Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre (AAU); Member of the Technical Committee on Ethiopia’s Accession to the WTO; Chief Expert (Office of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia); and Executive Committee member (Ethiopian Economics Association). He also served in many professional task forces. He conducts scientific research and policy analysis on a range of issues including structural economic transformation, productivity and wages; monetary policy; financial sector policy, regulation & supervision; firm investment and finance; capital market development; corporate finance; microfinance; Social Security fund and investment; savings mobilisation & instruments; Small enterprise development; diversification for inclusive growth; and urban poverty, vulnerability and resilience building.

Accounts and Finance Director

Ms. Hiwot Gezahegn is the current Accounts and Finance Manager at the Horn Economic and Social Policy Institute (HESPI). She has an MSc degree in Accounting and Finance and she is a part ACCA qualified accountant. Before joining HESPI, she worked as a senior auditor with Audit firms where she executed external audit service to various private and Non-governmental organizations. Ms. Hiwot has served as a lecturer in Debre Berhan University for many years. In doing so, she has taught various courses, advised students’ research on accounting and related thematic areas and participated in administrative work at the university.

Senior Research Associate


Dr. Fredu Nega is a Senior Research Associate at HESPI. He has a PhD degree in economics from Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. He taught at Mekelle University for a number of years, worked on a number of research programs, and published in different peer reviewed journals. Fredu undertakes scientific and policy research on a range of issues mainly focusing on poverty analysis, food security, economic growth and micro development issues. His expertise include interdisciplinary research, impact assessment techniques, multi dimensional poverty analysis and quantitative economic methods.

Senior Research Associate


Mr. Edris H. Seid is a Senior Research Associate at HESPI. He holds Double Masters of Science (MSc) in Economic Development and Growth from the University of Warwick (UK) and Lund University (Sweden). He has also a Masters in International Economics from Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia). Mr. Edris served as a Lecturer at Addis Ababa University, School of Commerce. He has research experience in a range of areas especially on regional economic integration and regional trade, political instability, poverty, growth and finance with much emphasis to the Horn of African economies. Currently Edris is a member of a Research Working Group on the Horn of Africa in support of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel mainly working on regional economic cooperation and integration in the Horn of Africa