Head of EIB Representation Office to Ethiopia and the African Union

Eleni Kyrou is a social and urban development practitioner with over 20 years of experience across the global South. In her previous role as the Lead Social Development and Gender Specialist at EIB, she spearheaded the development of institutional policies related to gender equality and human rights, overseeing the integration of human rights in EIB's sustainability framework in 2012-13. She has been the Bank’s Gender Lead since 2014 and was in charge of developing the EIB Group’s Strategy on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. Since the adoption of the Strategy by the EIB Board in 2016, she has steered the elaboration of the EIB Group’s Gender Action Plan and oversaw its roll-out. She has a strong operational background and has worked across different sectors and regions including Northern and Eastern Africa, Central and Latin America, South and East Asia, as well as within the European Union. Her operational engagement in Ethiopia dates back to 2000 and in 2018 was appointed the European Investment Bank’s Head of Representation to Ethiopia and the African Union.

Prior to joining the EIB, Eleni worked for academic institutions, civil society organizations and multilateral/international agencies in the context of urban development and urban governance; access to housing for low income population and informal settlers; and relief aid and post-conflict recovery. She was educated at the University of London, obtaining an MSc in Urban Development Planning from University College London and a BSc in Development and Economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies.