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DAA: Yonas Gizaw

Yonas Gizaw

Yonas Gizaw


Cincinnati, OH


Whether the mission is a better tasting potato chip or an environmentallyfriendly laundry detergent, success follows a proven sequence: Yonas Gizaw analyzes questions, addresses challenges, and formulates solutions. As principal scientist for Procter and Gamble Co., a $68 billion company with more than twenty billion-dollar brand names, Gizaw leads the development of sustainable and renewable biopolymers for global laundry and fabric care categories. “These efforts mean consumers enjoy our products more — their fabrics feel and smell better — or a load of laundry requires only a half-cup of detergent rather than a full cup,” Gizaw explains. On corporate and global scales, the impact of new product formulations magnifies exponentially — often significantly reducing the amount of petroleum-based polymers used in detergents and softeners and replacing them with biodegradable, renewable formulations. In 2005, Gizaw received Procter & Gamble’s Innovation Award for a reformulation of Downey Fabric Softener, a process that developed highperforming biopolymers that serve as co-actives with the product’s traditional actives. This breakthrough saved millions of dollars for P&G, and currently is modeled in Mexico, China, and Europe. Throughout his twelve-year career with Procter & Gamble, Gizaw has spiraled from a research scientist in the company’s Snack and Beverage Technology Division to the Division’s senior research scientist. His current position combines a keen knack for integrating technology and business, with a passion for leadership and collaboration. “I’ve always sought the biggest challenge I can face,’ he says. “Solutions bring me the greatest satisfaction.” Resolutions have a lighter side as well. For the past eight years, Gizaw has volunteered as a Big Brother, relishing the friendships and successes of two fortunate young men. “Academic excellence at Purdue University, a leading university in carbohydrate research, extended to faculty willing to mentor beyond the call of duty. The people and surroundings were conducive to education and learning as a person.”