Maryland Smith finance professor Lemma W. Senbet was appointed to a newly created Independent Council of Economic Advisors in his native Ethiopia by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Senbet, an expert and leader in economic policy in Africa, is the William E. Mayer Chair Professor of Finance and the founding director of Smith’s Center for Financial Policy.
In 2018, Ahmed called on Senbet to serve on his Advisory Council of the Ethiopian Diaspora Trust Fund. That was after Senbet’s stint as executive director and CEO of the African Economic Research Consortium, from 2013 to 2018. Senbet took leave from Maryland Smith to head the Nairobi-based organization, the largest and oldest economic research and training network in Africa. He is succeeded by the former Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya.
Senbet has achieved global recognition for his extensive and widely cited contributions to corporate and international finance, which have appeared in the top finance journals. He has received numerous recognitions for his impact on the profession. He has been twice elected director of the American Finance Association and was President of the Western Finance Association, has been recognized for his lifetime achievements with inductions to the Financial Economists Roundtable and as a fellow of the Financial Management Association International.
He has also served on more than a dozen journal editorial boards and supervised numerous doctoral students who have become top professors and industry leaders. He has advised the World Bank, the IMF, the UN, AfDB, and various agencies in the United States, Canada and Africa on such issues as financial sector reforms. He has held numerous board appointments, including with Fortis Funds and the Hartford Funds.
In 2005, Senbet was awarded an honorary doctorate by Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia's flagship university and his alma mater. In 2012, he was awarded the Ethiopian Diaspora (SEED) award for exemplary lifetime achievements and community service.
Senbet currently serves on the Distinguished Advisory Group of Brookings Africa Growth Initiative and to the G20 Compact with Africa (CwA) Advisory Panel.