Mrs. Hirut Zemene is a career diplomat who has served in various capacities in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia. She joined the European and American Directorate General of the Ministry in 1992. In 1998 she was posted to the Embassy of Ethiopia in Beijing, where she served as Political, Development Cooperation and Tourism Affairs Officer, and, from 2004 to 2005, as a Counsellor in charge of China.
Between 2006 and 2010, Mrs. Hirut served as a Director for the LDCs and LLDCs Affairs Department in the Economic and Business Affairs Directorate General. From 2010 to 2015, she also served as a Minister Counsellor for Business Diplomacy in the United Kingdom, before being appointed as Director General of the Ministry's Business Diplomacy Directorate General.
She took up her current position as State Minister in November 2016.
During her career Mrs. Hirut has been closely involved in various important bilateral and multilateral consultations and meetings. These have included: Ethio-US consultations between 1992 and 1998; the IGAD Partners' Forum Summit held in 1995 in Addis Ababa; the China-Africa Cooperation Forum (FOCAC) held in Ethiopia in 2003, and various Ethio-China bilateral consultations and Joint Economic Commission meetings between 1999 and 2006; as well as UNCTAD XII, held in 2008 in Ghana; and the 63rd United Nations General Assembly meeting held in New York in 2008.
She also participated in various Ethio - UK bilateral Economic Cooperation Fora from 2010 to 2014. In the same period, she actively participated on the International Coffee Council as representative of Ethiopia and at side-line meetings of the International Coffee Organization and International Sugar Organization based in London.
Mrs. Hirut was a member of the Ethiopian delegations to the India- Africa Forum in 2015 and Japan's TICAD VI Forum in 2016. As Director General of the Business Diplomacy Directorate General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs between 2014-16, she successfully organized more than 60 bilateral business fora with important partner countries, among them China, USA, Sweden, India, South Korea, Singapore, the UK, Germany, Israel, Rwanda, Turkey and Côte d'Ivoire.
Mrs. Hirut Zemene graduated from Addis Ababa University in 1991 with a BA Degree in Political Science and International Relations, and completed her MA Degree in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, at Tufts University in Boston, in 2002.
She is an avid lover of traditional culture and in particular of Ethiopian traditional paintings.
She enjoys listening to classical music and reading, and is a strong supporter of the Great Ethiopian run.
H.E. Mrs. Hirut Zemene is married and has one daughter.