Feature: Mimi Alemayehou

Mimi Alemayehou (Photo via OPIC.gov)

Mimi Alemayehou (Photo via OPIC.gov)

Mimi Alemayehou is the Executive Advisor and Chair of Blackstone Africa Infrastructure L.P., and a Managing Director at Black Rhino Group. Before joining Blackstone, Ms. Alemayehou was a development finance executive who served as Executive Vice President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).During Ms. Alemayehou’s tenure, she oversaw a portfolio of approximately $16B invested in over 100 countries. OPIC’s portfolio grew by more than 24% to $18B. Her leadership was instrumental in tripling the corporation’s Africa portfolio to nearly $4B. Ms. Alemayehou was one of the architects of President Obama’s Power Africa initiative to increase energy access across the continent (a blueprint for improving access to electricity in underdeveloped regions of Africa). In March '14, Alemayehou testified on behalf of OPIC at the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing on the Power Africa Initiative.

Ms. Alemayehou was appointed by President George W. Bush to the board of directors of the African Development Foundation. Alemayehou served as the United States Executive Director at the African Development Bank (AfDB), where she executed board decisions on behalf of the U.S. government. As the senior Treasury official in Africa, Ms. Alemayehou represented the U.S. on Treasury and development issues and was instrumental in pushing the AfDB to increase its lending to the private sector in support of infrastructure projects. She received a Distinguished Honor Award from then-U.S. Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulson for her service in this role.

Prior to the AfDB, she was Founder and Managing Partner of Trade Links, LLC, a development consulting firm that worked with clients on emerging markets issues and on promoting African exports under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. Ms. Alemayehou also managed a multi-country trade project in Africa for the International Executive Service Corps and was Director of International Regulatory Affairs for WorldSpace Corporation, a satellite telecommunications company. She started her career in the U.S. Congress, working for U.S. Representative Mac Thornberry.