Can you tell us a bit about your family?
I have two sons, aged 11 and eight.
Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I was born in Addis Abeba, grew up in six countries:
US (New York), Rwanda, Togo, Malawi, Kenya, and
Ethiopia. I left Ethiopia in 1975.
Can you tell us about one memorable experience
from your educational career?
I wrote and acted in a play in a leading role in 9th
What are your hobbies?
Swimming, reading, and gardening.
Eleni Z. Gabre-Madhin, CEO, the Ethiopia
Commodity Exchange (ECX)
Can you tell us about your first job?
At the age of 18, I was a cleaner in a Hamburger
fast food restaurant in the United States. I do not
forget how important it is to respect even the
What is the most influential book you have read?
Do you have a motto?
“Work is Love Made Visible!”
What aspirations do you have?
To contribute to ending poverty in Ethiopia.
Can you tell us what the greatest challenge in
your life has been?
Combining my profession with being a good mother to
What has been the highlight of your career?
Launching the trading of the ECX.
What would be your choice of alternative career?
Being a landscape architect.
What has been your worst business decision?
Not leasing a bigger office building.
Do you have a management philosophy?
Trust and believe in your people, empower them to
give their best.
Who is your most respected competitor?
Do you do any community work?
I am a member of the school board and active in the
parent-teacher association of my children's school.
What type of personal conduct in a business
environment do you most disapprove of?
Abusing professional privileges for personal gain.
Do you have any websites that you visit on a daily
basis without fail?
Which word describes you best?
Can you tell us the top three passions in your
ECX, motherhood, and gardening.
Which is your favourite restaurant in Addis?
What do you wish to have or see in your lifetime?
My sons grow to become active in shaping a better