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IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde Appoints Abebe Aemro Selassie as Director of the IMF’s African Department

  • Mr. Selassie is expected to begin his work as Director of the African Department on September 19, 2016.

  • He brings extensive operational and policy experience from his assignments in various IMF departments

  • Mr. Selassie, an Ethiopian national, joined the Fund in 1994

Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), today announced her intention to appoint Abebe Aemro Selassie as Director of the IMF’s African Department. Mr. Selassie succeeds Antoinette Sayeh whose departure was announced previously. He is expected to begin his work in this capacity on September 19, 2016.


“Abe brings a profound understanding of the challenges facing Africa, having worked closely with policymakers from across the region for much of his career. His proven ability to provide intellectual leadership, track record of building collaborative relationships, analytical depth, and warm collegiality make him ideally placed to lead the IMF’s work with our membership in sub-Saharan Africa. Having had the opportunity to work with Abe over the last five years, I have been struck by his sound judgement, integrity, and commitment to teamwork,” Ms. Lagarde said.

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Mr. Selassie’s career has spanned the private sector, government, and the IMF. During his time in the IMF’s African Department, he was senior resident representative in Uganda, served as mission chief for South Africa, led work on the Regional Economic Outlook, and worked in various roles on countries ranging from Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, and Kenya, to Burkina Faso, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Most recently, Mr. Selassie oversaw the IMF’s effort to assist the three Ebola-stricken countries.

Mr. Selassie also brings extensive operational and policy experience from his assignments in other IMF departments, including the Strategy, Policy and Review Department and the European Department. He worked on Turkey and Poland between 1999 and 2003, and was Assistant Director and mission chief for Portugal during the Eurozone crisis. He has also worked on low-income country and emerging-market program and policy design issues.

Before joining the IMF, Mr. Selassie worked for the Economist Intelligence Unit, specializing in sovereign credit risk issues, and then for the Ethiopian government as Principal Economist in the Office of the President. He holds a B.A. in Economics from City of London Polytechnic and a Masters in Economic History from London School of Economics.

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“The IMF remains deeply committed to serving our members in Africa. Abe will bring a unique blend of extensive knowledge and experience to his new position as Director of the African Department,” Ms. Lagarde said.


  1. I am proud of you as Ethiopian. This is a sign of who we are as Ethiopian,so I believe he can make a difference in Africa and our nation as well.
    God Bless,

  2. Formerly working for Ethiopian Government as principal Economist for the office of the President ???
    I have a problem with a person who served to any Dictatorial regime

  3. Mr. Abdurahman, I understand your concern, but some of the economic progress achieved in Ethiopia must have been due to relentless it work of people like Sillassie. These people are technocrats who do not involve them selves in the evil doings of the government. They simply sell there knowhow,I suppose.
    AS FOR WHAT’S GOING on IN ETHIOPIA TO DAY, I am sure Ato silassie cannot be a bystander.

    He certainly will stand by the people’s side.

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