Dr. Arega Yirdaw serves as CEO of MIDROC Technology Group.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – As an engineer from Ethiopia, Dr. Arega Yirdaw spent 20 years in the United States honing his skills at a series of major corporations. But he never lost sight of an even bigger goal – building the business and education infrastructure of his home country.
Now the CEO of Ethiopia’s MIDROC Technology Group, he leads his nation’s largest gold mine, its first private university and 15 other entities. He’s built one of Ethiopia’s most respected companies — and is the recipient of the Center for Creative Leadership’s 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award. He accepted the award at a ceremony in Addis Ababa on Jan. 24, 2011.
A 1998 graduate of CCL’s flagship Leadership Development Program (LDP®), Yirdaw became CEO in 2000 of MIDROC Technology Group, which has more than 6,000 employees and generates $300 million in annual revenues. As president of Unity University, he partnered with CCL in 2010 to open its first African office in Addis Ababa.
“At CCL, we define creative leadership as thinking and acting beyond the boundaries that limit our potential. That’s the kind of leadership Dr. Yirdaw provides each day,” CCL CEO John Ryan said. “He’s dedicated to removing boundaries in education and employment so his employees and fellow citizens can reach their full potential. He’s shown great skill at leading across geographic boundaries. And he’s found ways to break down the artificial boundaries we sometimes create in our own lives between family and work.”
As the winner of CCL’s 12th annual Distinguished Alumni Award, Yirdaw joins an esteemed list of leaders from around the world in the corporate, military and non-government sectors.
“I’m grateful to CCL for this honor and for keeping track of the professional endeavors, achievement and growth of its alumni around the world,” Yirdaw said. “This award is testimony to the leadership of MIDROC Ethiopia’s Chairman Sheik Mohammed Hussein Ali Al-Amoudi and to the many talented people in our organization.”
Yirdaw began his career in aviation and aerospace engineering in 1970 with Ethiopian Airlines. He later worked in engineering and management roles in the United States at Boeing, BorgWarner Fluid Controls/Western Hydraulics and HR Textron. He has authored several professional articles for newspapers and magazines and belongs to a number of professional associations, including The Royal Aeronautical Society of the United Kingdom.