Dr. Menna Demessie, Secretary
Dr. Menna Demessie is the Vice President of Policy Analysis and Research at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (CBCF) where she leads research and policy initiatives that affect African Americans and people of African descent. She is the founder and co-managing editor of CBCF’s Journal of the Center for Policy Analysis and Research. She worked on democratic governance and gender equality in Benin, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and received the 2016 DC Mayor’s Award for Community Advocacy Award for lobbying for the interests of African communities in Washington D.C. She is the chair of the Society of Ethiopians Established in the Diaspora (SEED), one of the oldest Ethiopian diaspora youth organizations in the United States promoting academic excellence, community service, and cultural heritage . She received her joint PhD in public policy and political science from the University of Michigan and received the Congressional Research Award from the Dirksen Congressional Center. Dr. Demessie conducted the first and only empirical and qualitative study of the influence of African congressional caucuses in the U.S. House of Representatives and its influence on U.S. African foreign policy. She is an adjunct professor at the University of California Washington Center, alumni board member on the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, serves on the Board of Visitors at Western Reserve Academy, and is an advisor on the Congressional Fellowship Program Advisory Committee for the American Political Science Association. Dr. Demessie enjoys performing the spoken word, comedy, playing piano and basketball.