The AIRD family is pleased to announce Mr. Fikru Abebe Abebe as our new CEO. He takes over at the organisation following the untimely demise of our former CEO and co-founder Mathias Temesgen Daniel who passed on 16th October 2021.

Fikru is well known to AIRD, being present at its conception in 2006 and being a close collaborator with our former CEO for many years. Following confirmation in post by the Board Chair, he took up his responsibilities as CEO in late October.

Fikru comes to AIRD with over 35 years’ experience in various government and non governmental organisations. These include: Ministry of Natural Resources Conservation and Development in Ethiopia, ECDC Enterprise Development Group, World Vision, Child fund International, Plan International, Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief (CPAR) and Trickle-Up.

Among many other other senior leadership roles, he has also worked as a Country Director for Child Fund International in Ethiopia and Uganda, Plan International in South Sudan and Uganda, Regional Representative East Africa Region-Trickle-UP, Senior Manager Ethiopia, Malawi and Uganda-CPAR Toronto, Senior Regional Advisor East Africa Region World Vision USA.

Fikru holds an undergraduate degree in Agriculture and a Masters’ degree in development planning from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia and New Mexico State University, USA respectively. He also holds Certificate in Project Management from Waterloo Management Institute, Ontario, Canada and currently pursuing Doctor of Strategic Leadership at Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA, USA.

The combination of his experience and drive makes him an ideal fit for AIRD as we look to the next stages of growth that will enable us to do more for the Persons of Concern we serve.

We are excited to see AIRD’s vision continue to take shape under Fikru’s leadership and guidance.

Here is what he has to say about joining AIRD:

“Taking over during a difficult transition is challenging, but it is also an exciting period that will be inspiring and motivating and we will see it as an opportunity. AIRD is a winning team and who doesn’t want to join a winning team? AIRD is a model to replicate. It is a home grown African initiative. There is much talk of the importance of indigenisation and localisation but we are proof of it. As a team we will pull through this difficult transition and take the organisation where it needs to be!”