Habtamu Lemma

Board Chairman

Mr. Habtamu Lemma obtained his master’s degree in international relations from the University of Economics and Business in Poznan, Poland.. He also received a master’s degree in hospitality from Strayer University in Fairfax, Virginia. After holding different management positions in the hospitality field, Mr. Lemma now manages his own business.

Mr. Lemma has worked with Ethiopian youth throughout his adult life, developing young minds in education and soccer. He was the soccer coach for the Seattle Ethiopian soccer team and led the team to the final championship of the highly coveted U.S. Ethiopian Soccer tournament .He was the Coach of the Philadelphia Ethiopian Soccer team for three years. After moving to the Washington DC area, he continued to nurture the development of young people in the Ethiopian diaspora through soccer. Mr. Lemma, was instrumental in establishing a neighborhood youth soccer team in Addis Abeba during his son, Kidus Lemma’s, visit to Ethiopia which was an inspiration to the creation of this Foundation. Mr Lemma will bring this expertise to The Kidus Legacy Education and Soccer Foundation.

Bogale Fesseha

Board Vice President

Mr. Bogale Fesseha is Vice President of ESD America, a company that engineers and manufacturers a wide array of mechanical and electronic payment systems. ESD America has its main office in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania and additional offices in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Mr. Fesseha oversees 70 personnel in the headquarters and manages agents in all other locations of ESD America. He joined the company over 30 years ago and through his leadership and innovations, ESD has grown into the international company it is today, earning 43 million dollars in sales for fiscal year December 2018.

Mr. Fesseha attended Saint Joseph’s University and graduated with a bachelor of science degree with a focus in business administration and management.

He is involved in the Ethiopian community locally as well as in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He currently works with two nongovernmental organizations; one that feeds children who live on the streets of Addis Ababa and another that recognizes and encourages college-bound, high-achieving students.

Thomas Solomon

Foundation Treasurer

Mr. Thomas Solomon is an economist and public financial management advisor with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). He advises and provides training, technical support and guidance to USAID HQ and missions across the globe on issues related to economic policy, democracy and governance as well as local systems strengthening. Mr. Solomon has an extensive international development experience in over 25 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Central America and the Caribbean. Previously, he served as an advisor with U.S. Treasury Department and the Government of the District of Columbia. Prior to joining the public sector, he served for over 16 years as a leader in private sector corporate finance. Mr. Solomon has bachelor and master’s and degrees in economics from the University of Oslo, Norway.

Yodit Benalfew

Board Secretary

Dr. Yodit Benalfew has been a practicing internist as a primary care physician in the mid-Atlantic region for over 22 years. She is a leading champion of preventive care and has consistently maintained high performance in cancer screening, prevention and management of diabetes. She has been recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Dr. Benalfew was nominated by her peers and recognized by the Northern Virginia Magazine as one of the 2017 Top Doctors in the region.

Dr. Benalfew has served as a module lead in the Kaiser Permanente Fair Oaks Center for over 5 years, where she led a team of 10 physicians. She will bring her expertise to The Kidus Legacy Education and Soccer Foundation.

Dr. Benalfew obtained her medical degree from the Medical College of Poznan, Poland. She completed the educational commission for Foreign Medical Graduates Certification (ECFMG) in the U.S. Dr. Benalfew also completed training at the internal medicine residency program in Presbyterian Medical Center, University of Penn Health System in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Saba Gebrehiwot

Ms. Saba Gebrehiwot is an assistant professor at Marshall University. She has 15 years of experience in teaching German, African Political System and Academic English. Prior to that she held various positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia. She also has served as the diplomat counselor in the Embassy of Ethiopia in Moscow, Russia and in the Diplomatic Mission of Ethiopia in Vienna, Austria. She has Masters in German Literature, International Relations and Public Administration.

Bekele Abebe

Mr. Bekele Abebe is a chemist by training and has worked in cancer research in several clinical research organizations. For the past eight years, he has worked at Pfizer Global Product Development as a clinical study operations relationship lead. Mr. Abebe has supported several local and global charitable organizations and currently serves as the secretary of the board at the Ethiopian Community Association of Greater Philadelphia. His ability to organize, network and communicate will add significant value to the success of The Kidus Legacy Education and Soccer Foundation.

Addisalem Taye Makuria

Dr. Addisalem Taye Makuria obtained her medical degree from the Addis Ababa University, Faculty of Medicine, Ethiopia. She completed the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates Certification (ECFMG) in the United States. Dr. Makuria continued her medical training in a residency program in anatomic and clinical pathology at Georgetown University, Medstar Hospital in Washington D.C. and a fellowship program in transfusion medicine/blood banking at the Department of Transfusion Medicine, National Institutes of Health, in Bethesda, MD. Currently, she is a medical officer at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and an attending physician on an as needed basis at the Department of Hematology and Laboratory Medicine, Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, DC.

Dr. Makuria received certification from the American Board of Pathology in Clinical Pathology and Transfusion Medicine/Blood Banking. She is currently licensed to practice medicine in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, and Washington D.C.

She has authored or co-authored several peer-reviewed journal articles related to Atherosclerosis, Neuropathology and Transfusion Medicine with publications in the journal of Atherosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, Neurooncology and Transfusion. She also authored the AABB PBM Program Toolkit: Quality Manual, AABB 2018.

Mesfin Tegenu

Mr. Mesfin Tegenu is the president of PerformRx, LLC, one of the nation’s leading URAC-accredited pharmacy benefit management organizations. PerformRx offers comprehensive pharmaceutical benefit management services with a focus on quality and cost reduction for all sectors in the health care industry. A clinical pharmacist and executive with more than 25 years of experience, Mr. Tegenu’ s vision has resulted in the development of leading-edge pharmacy benefit solutions currently employing several hundreds of people while developing innovative approaches that enable health plans to improve patient outcomes.

Mr. Tegenu spearheaded the creation of PerformRx LLC after successfully developing a comprehensive in-house pharmacy benefit management program for a national provider of managed care services. Under his leadership, PerformRx has grown to handle a multi-billion dollar transaction offering next generation pharmacy benefits to millions of people nationwide. Leveraging the clinical expertise that has driven PerformRx’ s continued success and his long time vision of integrated health care, Mr. Tegenu has directed the development of PerformSpecialty LLC, a new specialty pharmaceutical care management and Fulfillment Company providing services for those with complex illnesses. The company is based in Orlando, Florida.

Mr. Tegenu is a quintessential visionary with an incredible business acumen who led these companies following industry’s highest standard as demonstrated by their qualification to receive NCQA, URAC and ACHC accreditations. Mr. Tegenu is active in the community and currently serves on the board of multiple civic organizations. In addition to his New York State Pharmacy license, Mr. Tegenu holds a bachelor’s of pharmacy degree from Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and a master’s of science degree from St. John’s University, Queens, New York.

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