Date of Appointment: December 2010
Prior to his appointment as a Special Envoy to the US, Ambassador Girma Birru had served his country in different high-profile positions and capacities. Before he assumed his present post, he was the Minister of Trade and Industry of Ethiopia for nine years from October 2001 to October 2010. From August 1995 to October 2001, he was Ethiopia's Minister of Economic Development and Cooperation.
Ambassador Girma Birru also served his country as the Minister heading the Ethiopian Revenue Administration Board. He was also the Deputy Minister of Finance, Administration and Logistics of the Ministry of National Defense from May 1992 to November 1994, after serving as the Chief Advisor to the Minister of Defense on Economic issues for ten months.
He started his professional public service as an economist in the Office of the Council of Ministers beginning from 1982 after successfully completing his undergraduate studies, with Distinction.
During the long span of these high-level government positions, Ambassador Girma played his due role in initiating national development programs and strategies in vast and critical areas of Industry and Trade.
Ambassador Girma discharged his services towards ensuring a strong bond of private and public partnership and injected his part in enhancing competition by contributing to Ethiopia's investment promotion and to the growth of the export sector. He was Ethiopia's Chief Negotiator at the World Trade Organization by leveraging and navigating propitious venues in the ongoing accession process to this august body.
Over and above his in-country service at various levels, Ambassador Girma Birru has also served as an Alternate Governor of the World Bank, the African Development Bank and as a Board member of COMESA Bank-PTA Bank, representing his country from 1995 to 2001.
He has also registered a resume of leadership as a Chairman and Member of the Board of Directors (1992-2010) fir different organizations and institution, including the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation, Development Bank of Ethiopia, Ethiopian Investment Agency, and Ethiopian Road Authority, where he served as Board Chairman. He also discharged his services as an active Board member of the National/Central Bank of Ethiopia and the World Bank Funded Ethiopian Social Rehabilitation Development Fund.
Ambassador Girma Birru has produced two publications entitled "The Possible Effect of the Adjustment Role of Devaluation in Ethiopia" (1986) and "The Importance of Coffee in the Ethiopian Economy" (1982). Ambassador Girma Birru, currently holds a Master of Arts in Economic Policy and Planning (1986) from the Institute of Social Studies (ISS), the Hague, the Netherlands, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics with Distinction (1982) from the Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Ambassador Girma Birru, exhibits a balanced understanding of different points of view and believes in respecting different value judgments and priorities. He is endowed with negotiation capabilities and competencies, particularly on team work capacity and positively views differences as helpful resources to further explore and engage, and not as handicaps. Ambassador Girma is married and a father of two. He was born on May 27, 1957.