Members of our Board of Trustees

To ensure the strategic leadership and governance of the foundation, it has assigned the board of trustees consisting of renowned personalities from Ethiopia and abroad with rich experiences and knowledge on the foundation’s focus areas.

H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn, Former Prime Minister of Ethiopia is chairperson of the board of trustees. His Excellency brings to the foundation his rich experience in strategic thinking, leadership, deep understanding of the contexts at highest and grassroots levels, harmonizing and aligning CSO works with national policies, plans & priorities.

Dr. Kesetebirhan Admasu, Former Minister of Health of Ethiopia who also served as the Chief Executive Officer of Rollback Malaria programme at global level and currently working as CEO of the Big Win Philanthropy, brings to the foundation his wealth of experience in leading & managing health, nutrition, and economic empowerment programs in public and CSO sects to transform the lives of women, children, and youth.

Prof. Carlos Lopes, Former Executive Director of UNECA provides the foundation his rich knowledge and experience in economic development potentials, challenges, and insights on how to address them with focus on women and youth.

Dr. Eleni Gabre-Madhin, Former CEO of Ethiopian Commodity Exchange, Eleni is currently founder and Chief Happiness Officer of blueMoon. She holds PhD in applied economics from Stanford University and amassed great deal of experience in agriculture and agricultural markets in Africa. Working as an innovation and entrepreneurship accelerator, she has incubated and accelerated thousands of innovators, entrepreneurs and startups in Ethiopia. 

Tsega Gebreyes, a Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner at Satya Capital, will bring her rich experience in investment opportunities, risks, and ways of mitigation to the economic empowerment initiatives for women and youth.

Tadelech Dalecho, Former State Minister of Culture and Tourism and State Minister of Labor Social Affairs will bring to the foundation insights on the underlying social and cultural issues posing obstacles to women and girls in accessing health, education, and livelihood improvement services and ways of overcoming these barriers to unleash their full potential to thrive and benefit as major segments of the society.

Dr. Leelie Selassie, a physician specialized in lung diseases and having community services will bring her rich experience in healthcare towards improving access and quality of health services to women and children.

Ambassador Dr. Reuben Brigety, who served as the US ambassador to the African Union, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and Permanent Representative of US to UNECA, currently serving as the Dean of School of International Affairs at the George Washington University will bring his rich diplomatic and academic experiences in understanding the political, economic, and social issues in fostering partnership for improved health, education, and economic status of women, children and youth.

Dario Morello, CEO of Greenland Tours and Hotels brings his practical experience in tourism and hotels to give insights on how to create alternative livelihoods to communities around national parks with focus on women and youth.

Tewodros Ashenafi, CEO of Southwest Energy, an economist and entrepreneur, brings to the foundation his wealth of practical experience in investment and insights to market situations at national and global levels with the view of contributing towards improved livelihood of women and youth.

Noah Samara, the founder and CEO of World Space Satellite radio will bring to the foundation his rich experience in communications to mobilize communities and create awareness in order to support transforming health, education, and economic livelihood of people in the project areas.

The foundation envisions having “A healthy and economically empowered community in a well conserved environment.”

Whereas, H.E. Mrs. Roman Tesfaye, Former First Lady of Ethiopia, who has been a champion for the wellbeing of women and children at national and global levels, is appointed as CEO of the foundation and secretary of the board of trustees. As the First Lady, Her Excellency took concrete actions by initiating and closely overseeing Ye Enat Weg Charitable Association (YEWCA), a local CSO, providing school meals to children from poorest families in Addis Ababa public primary schools. As a measure to improve quality of education, school meals program is emulated as best model by city administration to feed more needy children through public fund. Besides this, Her Excellency has been patron of Center for Accelerated Women’s Economic Empowerment (CAWEE), local NGO, engaging destitute women in income generating activities and linking them with export markets. Moreover, Her Excellency has co-chaired national cancer control committee, which led the development of the country’s first ever cancer control plan and guided scaling up services for screening and treatment of cervical and breast cancers. In addition to these, Her Excellency has been an ardent advocate for fighting HIV/AIDS in Gambella region-the most affected area in the country and promoting nutrition with focus on the first 1000 days of life to have lasting impacts. 

Thus, Her Excellency brings to the foundation wealth of practical experiences and insights on establishing and overseeing local CSOs and NGOs that are running hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars per annum with multiple projects. Her Excellency is now working closely with government organizations, NGOs, communities, and development partners in leading and managing the foundation to realize its vision.