Meles Zenawi was born on 8th May 1955 at Adwa in northern Ethiopia. He received elementary education at the Queen of Sheba Junior Secondary School and completed High School in 1972 at General Wingate School in Addis Ababa. He then joined the Medical Faculty of Addis Ababa University where he studied for two years.
Meles interrupted his studies in 1974 to join the Tigrai Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF). He was elected to the Leadership of the Leadership Committee of the TPLF in 1979 and to its Executive Committee in 1983. He is chairman of both the TPLF and the Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) since 1989. EPRDF is a political alliance of the four main political organisations in the country.
Upon the defeat of the military junta, Meles became president of the Transitional Government of Ethiopia and Chairman of the Council of Representatives (the legislative body of the transitional government) from 1991 to 1995. He was elected Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in 1995 and re-elected for a second term in 2000.
He served as chairman of the Organisation of the African Union from June 1995 until June 1996. He is serving as co-chairman of the Global Coalition for Africa. He has also been actively involved in IGAD's efforts to end the conflicts in Sudan and Somalia, and Africa initiatives to seek a solution to the crises in Burundi. In 2004, he was appointed by UK Prime Minister Tony Blair as one of the Commissioners taking part in the Commission for Africa.
Meles acquired a First Class M.A. in Business Administration from the Open University of the United Kingdom in 1995 and a MSc. in Economics from the Erasmus University of the Netherlands in 2004.
The Prime Minister is married and is a father of three. His hobbies are reading, swimming and tennis.