Abethbout me

I was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (East Africa) in a middle class family. I was very fortunate to grow up in loving and caring home. I grew up with four sisters, three brothers and other extended family in the same household, which is a typical way of African family living.

After I graduated from high school, I came to the United States for college and fell in love with this great Nation that offers freedom, opportunity, and diversity. I have been living in the Washington metropolitan area since I moved to the USA.


Before joining Bread and Water for Africa® as Executive Director in 2008, I served as a Controller of CRSC Residential, Inc., another affiliate of Christian Relief Services Charities (CRSC). With CRSC Residential, I worked as part of a team managing 10 properties (1200 multi-family units) across the United States, including in Arizona, Kansas, and Northern Virginia.

Before I joined CRSC in 2001, I worked as an accountant in various companies, including a commercial real estate management company, at a CPA firm, and in the hospitality industry, for over 10 years.

I continue to find fulfillment with Bread and Water for Africa®, as we work with our local partners for positive change in Africa. I am humbled daily by both the generosity of our donors and the creativity and resolve of our African partners.

Every year I visit at least one of our partners in Africa, where I am inevitably amazed with the quality and reach of the work our partners do. To see such transformations in the continent of my birth and upbringing has a special meaning for me; it is why I work hard every day to promote our model of sustainable development. The change for which so many have worked so hard must benefit coming generations as well as those of today.

I have seen first-hand the difference that only a few dollars can make in the lives of so many, and I look forward to growing our programs’ reach as Executive Director for years to come.


I graduated from University of Maryland College Park with a BA in accounting. I am also a member of National Institution of Accountants and the Institution of Internal Auditors.


I am a member of the Amenual Ethiopian Evangelical Church in Arlington, VA. I have been serving as a volunteer accountant for my church for the last seven years. I also serve as a Bible study leader in a small group that I host at my apartment every week.


I love reading the Bible and other Christian books. I also enjoy watching documentaries, visiting museums, and helping people in any way I can. I have had the privilege to travel to many countries around the world including Italy, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal, France, England, Greece, Canada, Egypt, Sudan, Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, Cameroon and Mozambique. And I look forward to traveling more in Africa, Middle East and Russia.

Grateful to serve

I love the Lord with all my heart and I would love to serve Him in the way I live every day, with hard work, respect and kindness for others and a heartfelt devotion to Him.

I adore Africa. Bread and Water for Africa’s mission is very personal to me. It is my story and it is who I am!

Grateful to be serving others,

Bethelhem Tessema