Tseshaye Teferra is founder and president of the Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC), Inc., which was established in 1983. His leadership and vision have shaped ECDC from a start-up agency with an initial budget of less than $100,000 to a major community-based organization with an annual budget of over several million. ECDC now offers a wide range of cultural, economic, educational and social services at the local and national levels through its headquarters operations and through ECDC African Community Center (ACC) branch offices in Denver, Colorado, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Arlington, Virginia.
While meeting the many challenges of running a multifaceted organization, Tseshaye is also active in civic, professional and local community affairs. He frequently lectures locally and nationally on African issues and cross-cultural studies and has testified before Congress. He has served as Chair of the Resettlement Committee of Refugee Council USA and as a member of its Finance Committee, and Vice Chair and Chairman of the Virginia State Refugee Advisory Council.
He was appointed by the Arlington County Board to serve as a founding member of the Arlington County, Virginia, Multicultural Commission, as well as a member of the County’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Task Force for Arlington’s Future, and the Diversity Dialogue Task Force. Tseshaye currently serves as a member of the Board of InterAction, the Board of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization in Arlington, Virginia.
A native of Ethiopia, Tseshaye received his undergraduate degree from Haile Selassie I University in Addis Ababa. He then earned a master’s in applied linguistics and a doctorate in sociolinguistics from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he also served as a Research Associate in the School of Languages and Linguistics.
Tseshaye was an instructor at The Catholic University of America and the Foreign Service Institute as well as an Assistant Professor in the African Studies and Research Center at Howard University. He served as a cross-cultural instructor in the Peace Corps’ in-country training program and taught at several institutions of higher learning in Ethiopia before coming to the United States as a UNESCO Fellow in 1972.
Tseshaye joined the Board in 2020 and serves on the Program Impact Committee.
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