Board of Directors
ECS is governed by Board of Directors. These Board Members are volunteers who do not receive compensation for services rendered by ECS. They are experienced and respected community leaders from varied backgrounds.
Habtamu Kebede, MSW, ASW., President
Mr. Kebede is a licensed Associate Clinical Social Worker, and a humanitarian with great interest in analyzing, discussing, and solving critical social issues. Mr. Kebede has three AA from San José City College, a BA in Political Science, minor in Psychology, and a Master of Social Work from San José State University. Mr. Kebede works in the social service sector, and helps unaccompanied refugee minors from around the world. Mr. Kebede lives in Santa Clara, California with his wife and two children.
Paulos Getachew, Secretary
Paulos Getachew, holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from San Jose State University. Mr. Paulos has been working in different Silicon Valley companies for many years as an Engineer. Mr. Paulos has served as a Board member at the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in San Jose, and is now serving at ECS board. Married and father of two children.
Yeshi Teklemichael, Board Member
Yeshi joined the Board in May 2018 and has also been volunteering for ECS in its day to day activities.
Yeshi has been with The Christensen Fund in San Francisco for eleven years until January 2018 and was one of their grants managers. She has a wide-ranging international experience in Philanthropy, focussed on women’s rights and gender equality issues. At Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, she was the coordinator of CERTWID - a gender research and training center and later directed a Canadian 3 million gender fund for the former Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in Addis Ababa. Yeshi also worked for the United Nations World Food Programme in Ethiopia as their gender officer.
Yeshi has a BA in Philosophy from Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and MA in Development Studies with a specialization on Women in Development from the International Institute of Development Studies (IIDS), The Hague, The Netherlands.
Alfiya Raboye, Board Member
Alfiya Raboye is a college student. Alfia is studying business at the San Jose City College. Alfia plans on transferring to the San Jose State University to pursue her education in the health care administration field.
Semret Haile, Board Member
Ms. Semert Haile is a passionate social service professional with extensive experience in behavioral health and community service. Ms. Haile has worked for Santa Clara County’s Behavioral Health Service Department for more than a decade. Mrs. Haile has trained in faith/critical thinking at Bethel Theological Seminary in San Diego, and in family/community development at Cornell University. Prior to that, she received fashion design education at the Paris Academy of Art University. Ms. Haile is widely recognized in the Ethiopian community in the Bay Area for her tireless community service volunteering. She has served as volunteer for ECS for several years prior to joining the Board of Directors. Ms. Haile enjoys sports, community service, and learning new skills.
Mengistu Mekuria, Board Member
Mengistu Yewondwossen Mekuria was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Mr. Mekuria attended and graduated from the San Jose State University Department of Electrical Engineering. Mr. Mekuria works for the UL Verification Services. Inc., as a Lead Test Engineer. Mr. Mekuria is among the current Board of Directors of the Ethiopian Community Services in San Jose, California. Mr. Mekuria is very passionate about helping others, and he does it with compassion and great respect. Mr. Mekuria enjoys supporting and uplifting the livelihood of the Ethiopian community in the Bay Area and beyond. Mr. Mekuria lives in San Jose, California, with his wife and two children.
Admas Zewdie, P.E., MBA, Vice President
Mr. Zewdie is an experienced business leader in the Bay Area’s transportation infrastructure industry for over 20 years. In 2016, he founded ActiveWayz Engineering, a transportation engineering firm with offices in Oakland and Santa Clara. Mr. Zewdie has served in his home city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee for over five years, putting to use his expertise in the service of his community. Currently, in addition to serving as ECS’s Board member, he also serves as a Board member for the Silicon Valley chapter of American Public Works Association. Mr. Zewdie holds a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from Addis Ababa University and an MBA from the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley. Mr. Zewdie resides in Santa Clara, California with his wife and three children.
Orion Zemene, Treasurer
Mr. Zemene is a compassionate and dedicated community leader with a wide-range business experience. Mr. Zemene had been a Franchise Business Consultant & a District Manager at Villa Enterprises Management. Mr Zemene studied Business management at Brookhaven College. Mr. Zemene owns and operates two franchise businesses. Mr. Zemene resides in San Jose, California with his wife and three children.
Menen Tesfahun, Board Member
Menen Tesfahun is a payroll manager for Ardelyx. Menen studied finance and accounting in San Jose State University. Menen loves numbers, and majored in accounting and earned her BA degree. Menen was born in Ethiopia and moved to the U.S. after finishing high school. Beside’s her regular job, she volunteers within the community in organizing and helping the kids to the Maleda soccer team in San Jose for 11 years. In addition, every year for the past six years she got invited and attended African Cradle Camp for Ethiopian adopted children which she helped the kids and share Ethiopian culture.
Helen Kassa, Board Member
Helen Kassa is a Policy & Advocacy Coordinator at the African American Community Services Agency in San Jose primarily serving Santa Clara County. Helen has always had a passion and interest for service, community, and governance both domestically as well as on the African continent. She is a recent graduate of Santa Clara University where she received her degree in Political Science/International Relations and Religious Studies. Helen has been an active participant and leader in her community since the age of 8. In 2008, she adopted a school in rural Ethiopia providing new blackboards for classrooms, sports equipment, a STEM Lab, and school supplies for all twelve hundred deserving students. Domestically, Helen served with the NAACP as a San Jose Youth Chapter President, California & Hawaii Regional Youth and College Education chair, and a National Delegate to the United Nations COP 21 climate talks. Helen is honored to be serving on the board of Ethiopian Community Services in San Jose and is an active member of the Silicon Valley chapter of The National Coalition of 100 Black Women. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, watching TV, and spending time with family and friends.
Girum Siraw Awoke, PhD, Board Member
Girum Siraw Awoke serves the Ethiopian Community Services Inc. as a governing Board member, and as a member of the Health and Education committee.
Girum has nearly 20 years of professional experience in the Transportation, Public Works and Engineering field, working in both private and public sectors. For the past 8 years, he has served in Executive Management roles, ranging from serving as the Chief of Construction in Montgomery County, a suburb of Washington, D.C., to the Public Works Director for the City of Gilroy, CA. He is passionate about leading and empowering teams to success, and serving his community.
Girum holds a PhD and MSc Degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a B.Sc. degree in Civil Engineering from Addis Ababa University. He is a graduate of the Local Governance Summer Institute at Stanford University, and has certifications in project management, alternative project delivery, and leadership. Dr. Awoke serves as adjunct faculty at Santa Clara University and San Jose State University, and formerly at Montgomery College. He is a member of several professional associations, and serves on committees at national, state, and local levels.
In his spare time, Girum enjoys the outdoors and sports. Girum lives in San Jose California with his wife and two children.