Bemnet Tesfaye immigrated to the United States when she was four from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and was raised in Columbus, Ohio. She completed her B.A. at Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) majoring in International and Area Studies with a double minor in Arabic and French. Bemnet is passionate about domestic service and committed to helping vulnerable populations. In an effort to bridge the barriers to higher education, she created a service event at WUSTL for first- and second-generation African immigrants in the St. Louis area.
Bemnet’s passion led her toward further examination of global development issues. During this time, she received a research award from the Office of Undergraduate Research. With the help of The Department of Sociology at WUSTL, she conducted ethnographic research to identify whether Somalian, Senegalese, and Ethiopian immigrants are assimilating within the community in St. Louis, MO. In the summer of 2017, Bemnet earned the Gilman International Scholarship to study Intermediate Arabic at the Arab American Language Institute in Meknes, Morocco.
Bemnet is excited to begin her career at USAID and use the skills she developed through her domestic service and international study abroad to help address global challenges overseas. She will pursue a Master of Arts in International Development at Johns Hopkins Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. In her spare time, Bemnet enjoys making ceramic objects and she’s a foodie who loves to immerse herself in local food culture.