Managing Director, African Community Center (ACC), D.C. Metro
Sarah Zullo oversees social service support programs targeting African newcomer communities in the Washington, D.C., area. The programs address employment and job placement, cultural adjustment, domestic violence prevention, health education, housing, immigration, interpretation and translation, information and referral, refugee resettlement, and youth life skills. Prior to coming to Arlington, Ms. Zullo worked for the ECDC African Community Center in Denver for nearly four years, serving as Resettlement Manager for almost two years of that time. Since moving to Arlington in 2012, Ms. Zullo worked as ECDC’s Special Programs Officer at the national level. She holds an M.A. in Public Administration from the University of Colorado. Her prior work experience includes working as a Volunteer Resources Manager and a TANF Project Job Developer. She also served as an intern in the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender. In addition to English, she speaks Amharic, French, and Spanish.
Director, African Community Center, Las Vegas (ACC/LV), D.C. Metro
Milan Devetak oversees the Reception and Placement, Matching Grant, Refugee Social Services, Intensive Case Management and Refugee Cash Assistance programs, as well as resource development and capacity building at ACC/LV. He is responsible for program leadership and guidance, design and expansion, policy decisions and monitoring ACC/LV’s activities and outcomes.
Prior to becoming the Director of ACC/LV, Mr. Devetak worked for Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada for nearly four years as Director of Resettlement Services. Prior to this, he worked for ECDC-ACC/LV for a year as Resettlement Manager.
Mr. Devetak also worked in the adult education field for over seven years as Literacy Program Manager and ESL Teacher, as well as overseas for World Learning and USAID, under the auspices of the United States Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, as well as the State of Nevada License for Educational Personnel. In addition to English, he speaks Serbian and Croatian and has a working knowledge of Spanish.
Dr. 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, Dr. Teferra 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 . Dr. Teferra 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, Dr. Tsehaye Teferra received his undergraduate degree from Haile Selassie I University in Addis Ababa. He then earned an M.S. in Applied Linguistics and a Ph.D. in Sociolinguistics from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he also served as a Research Associate in the School of Languages and Linguistics. Dr. Teferra was an instructor at The Catholic University of America and the Foreign Service Institute and was 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.
Recognition and Awards
Selected as a White House Champion of Change in 2012.
Received the Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago’s Pioneer Award for Leadership, Advocacy and Networking in October 2009.
Honored in May 2008 by the Society of Ethiopians Established in Diaspora (SEED) for his many years of public service to Ethiopian and Africans in Diaspora.
Honored by Bank of America in 2006 with a Local Hero Award of Excellence for contributions as president of ECDC and the Enterprise Development Group through support to low-to-moderate income entrepreneurs.
Honored by the City Council of the City of Los Angeles in 2005 with an Award of Appreciation for his contributions to improving the lives of refugee and immigrant newcomers to the United States.
Recognized in 1991by former President George H.W. Bush for outstanding record of community service.
Recognized in 1991 for outstanding contributions to the country by then Ambassador at Large and U.S. Coordinator for Refugee Affairs Jewel Lafontant-Mankarious.
Vice President of Programs and Community Engagement
Allene Wright serves as the Vice President of Programs and Community Engagement. She provides overall direction for ECDC’s resettlement and integration programs, developing strategic direction for the work of the department in alignment with the mission and goals of ECDC. She ensures deliverables comply with program funding requirements and is also engaged in development and community engagement efforts. Allene received a B.A. in German from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana, and did graduate work at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Director of Finance
Azeb provides management, control and administration of all fiscal operations of ECDC its and its branch offices. Ms. Tadesse has over 12 years of finance experience. She has an MBA from Strayer University in Arlington, Virginia.
Anam Gnaho is the Director of Refugee Resettlement and Integration and provides oversight to ECDC’s Reception and Placement, Matching Grant and Preferred Communities programs and serves as an executive-level liaison with the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) and Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). Prior to joining ECDC, Anam worked for government, international non-government organizations and the non-profit sector. She has in-depth knowledge of refugee resettlement and integration and is highly skilled in federal grants management, program and staff administration, oversight and strategic planning. She holds an M.S. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from the Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, George Mason University; an M.A. in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from the School of International Service, American University; and an LL. B from University of Pune, India.
R&P Program Officer
Azeb serves as a Quality Assurance and Compliance lead at ECDC Headquarters. She also serves as the primary ECDC liaison for four of ECDC’s Resettlement Program affiliates. Azeb has over 15 years of experience in the non-profit environment. She brings with her strong program management and monitoring and evaluation expertise. She has a master’s in sustainable development and a Ph.D. in Area Studies (Africa) with a focus on community livelihoods.
Senior R&P Program Officer
Benaiah oversees pre-arrival and post-arrival processing activities, including assurances, arrivals, case transfers, case inquiries, and processing reports. In the past, he worked in various capacities for the government of Sudan, the Office of African Studies at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, and the International Organization for Migrations (IOM). Benaiah has experience in governmental and non-governmental organizations and has specialized in cultural orientation.
Jessica Castro is a Program Officer for the Matching Grant program. She supports ECDC’s affiliates and branch offices achieve programmatic compliance and refugee employment and self-sufficiency outcomes through ongoing training, technical assistance, monitoring, and evaluation. She has a background working for non-profits; providing case management as well as supervising experience. During her time in graduate school, she had an internship in Hong Kong where she worked with refugees and asylum seekers. Jessica holds a Master’s degree in Social Work with a concentration in the management of social services and a bachelor’s in social welfare.
Afghan Placement & Assistance (APA) Program Officer
John is an Afghan Placement & Assistance (APA) Program Officer for the R&P Program. He recently moved to the D.C. Metro area from Indianapolis, IN. Prior to joining ECDC, John worked for 8 years in the financial industry. He has a demonstrated background of volunteering for refugee and immigration nonprofits in the Indianapolis area, and is looking forward to working professionally in this space. John holds a Master of Public Affairs in Urban Affairs from IUPUI in Indianapolis, IN
R&P Program Specialist
Elise is the point person for SIV post-arrival walk-in requests, and she processes and tracks trends of R&P Period Reports, IOM Loan Collection Reports, I-94 record delay inquiries, and Social Security Card delays. Elise began working at ECDC as the R&P Processing intern in September 2017 before officially becoming a part of the processing team as a specialist in February 2018. Her field of study was Anthropology, and she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ohio University.
Haileyesus is in charge of setting up, managing and troubleshooting the technology systems that ECDC uses to maintain computer and software networks. His duties include responding to hardware problems, updating system software, and tracking the data and communications used on ECDC’s network. Haileyesus previously served as System and database administrator in the United Nations. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information System from Unity University.
R&P Program Officer
Jamila serves as the ECDC lead for Cultural Orientation and gender equity. She also serves as the primary ECDC liaison for three of ECDC’s affiliates. Jamila has seven years of experience working in the profit and non-profit environments. Before joining ECDC, Jamila worked as a Project Manager-Team Lead with IRC, as a Program Manager-Team Lead with DynCorp LLC, as an Admin- Finance Officer with ZALMA Co. and MFP Org. She holds MA in Philosophy, BA in Education and Culture.
Associate Director of Community Integration Programs
Kathryn Culhane is the Associate Director of ECDC’s Community Integration Programs and manages the day-to-day operations of the Matching Grant and Preferred Communities programs, including overseeing the provision of training and technical assistance to implementing sites, monitoring, staff supervision and serving as ECDC’s program-level liaison with the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). She holds a B.A. in Political Science and Global Studies from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.
Afghan Placement and Assistance (APA) Program Coordinator
Luisa is the Coordinator for the Afghan Placement and Assistance (APA) Program. Prior to joining ECDC, Luisa served as the Co-Coordinator & Program Manager for the Working Group to Address the Venezuelan Migrant and Refugee Crisis at the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, D.C. Before her previous tenure, Luisa worked as the Quality Control Coordinator for the Refugee Resettlement Department at Catholic Charities in Houston, TX. Luisa holds a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from the Externado de Colombia University, Colombia.
Rebecca D. Hailemeskel
Associate Director of Reception and Placement Program
Rebecca manages the day-to-day operations of the R&P program, including leading strategic planning activities; supervising program staff, reviewing monitoring tools, protocols, and reports; and serving as ECDC’s liaison with the PRM. She has over 20 years of experience working in international and local NGOs as a program officer, gender advisor, project coordinator, and trainer. She has specialized in an array of fields, including refugee resettlement, human trafficking, child protection, HIV/AIDS, gender mainstreaming, and women’s empowerment. Rebecca holds a Master’s degree in Gender Studies from Addis Ababa University and a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management and Leadership from The International Leadership Institute in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Samira is a Program Officer for the R&P program, serving as the primary point of contact for the P-3 Family Reunification, Central American Minor, and Lautenberg programs. Samira earned the President’s Volunteer Service Award from President Obama for volunteering more than 120 hours in the social services setting in Los Angeles. With more than seven years of experience in the nonprofit sector, Samira has worked as a case manager and children services coordinator with an affiliate office of USCCB. Samira holds a Master’s degree in International Development Studies from the George Washington University, where she specialized in migration and worked with IOM-Jordan for her capstone project. She has a B.A. in General Design from California State University Long Beach.
Tarana Mammadova is a Program Officer for the Preferred Communities Program. She supports ECDC’s affiliates and branch offices achieve programmatic compliance, and refugee long-term self-sufficiency and integration efforts through ongoing training, technical assistance, monitoring and evaluation. Tarana holds an MSW from Columbia University, and a BA in English Linguistics from Azerbaijan University of Languages.
Wossen is the IT Manager overseeing the information technology system for ECDC headquarters and branch offices. He manages database, messaging, network, security, server, VPN, and ECDC’s website. Wossen has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
R&P Program Specialist
Yeshareg monitors IOM flight information and ensures accurate details are disseminated to affiliates in a timely manner. She also processes R&P reimbursements and corresponds with the RPC to confirm that ECDC’s arrival numbers match with the RPC. Yeshareg previously served as an Engineering Assistant and Data Entry Supervisor at ABB, Inc. She lived and worked in London before relocating to the United States.