Mandefrot Belay received his LLM degree From Nagpur University, India in “International Public and Private Law” in 1993 and his LLB degree from Addis Ababa University in 1988. He obtained post-graduate diploma in “International Law and Organization for Development” from the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, Netherlands in 1998. He served as a “Governance and Democracy’ fellow for the UK`s Foreign and Commonwealth Office at the University of Birmingham, Center for Diplomacy and Security Studies in 2006 and received a post graduate certificate. He also has attended several other short term professional trainings including legislative drafting course both home and abroad.
Mandefrot worked for the American Bar Association Rule of Initiative (ABA ROLI) as Country Director in Ethiopia from November 2008 to February 2013 implementing a five year legal education capacity building program supported by USAID. Before joining ABA ROLI he worked for the Ethiopian government for over 10 years in different institutions, holding senior level positions including: Director of the National Justice System Reform Program at the former Ministry of Capacity Building (now Ministry of Civil Service), Head of the Bureau of legal research and Law Reform at the Justice and Legal System Research Institute (JLSRI), and Head of the Department of Legal Counsel at the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Justice. As head of the bureau of legal research and law reform he has directed and coordinated major comparative research projects aiming at revising and reforming major laws in the country including: the commercial code, the civil code, the criminal code, the family code, procedural codes and several other proclamations and regulations and provided legal and policy advise to the Ethiopian government on different and legal and policy issues.
Mandefort is currently an independent legal consultant and teaches law at Addis Ababa University School of Law on part-time basis. Mandedefrot has worked as a senior consultant for a number of organizations including: the International Finance Corporation World Bank Group and the Ministry of Trade on (business license regulation and private sector development), ARD-Tetra Tech Inc, and the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture on (Drafting Pastoral Land Administration and use Regulations, Rural Lands Registration Regulations). and other organizations including: the Ethiopian Institution of the Ombudsman, the Form for Social Studies, Justice for all Ethiopia, and Deloitte Consult in a range of policy and law related matters including: investment and business regulation, public policy, legal training, land policy and administration, institutional Capacity building, and related matters.