Our Team

Alex Caudill

Employment Programs Manager

Atakhelti Alemseged

Community Advocate

Bethlehem Desta

Senior Program and Grant Manager

Cara Zanta

Case Manager

Emily Bayens

Resettlement Programs Manager

Friba Adeel

PC-Case Management Assistant

Hekmatullah Latifi

Case Manager

Helen Gebru

Client Self-Sufficiency Program Coordinator

Khadra Bashir

Resettlement Program’s Manager

Konjit Edward

Family Enrichment Specialist

Maazalluh Hedayat 

Business Engagement Manager

Sarah Zullo

Director

Scott Neff

Refugees programs

Selamawit Woldemichael

Domestic Violence (DV) and Trafficking Victims Assistance Program (TVAP) advocate

Sosina Baruda

Client Service Coordinator

Tamar Zakaraia

Case Manager

Yariana Rodriguez

Resource Development Manager

Alex Caudill

Employment Programs Manager

Alex grew up in upstate New York near Lake Placid and went to Colgate University where she majored in Psychology. She got her first taste of working with refugees after being an intern at a resettlement agency where she taught English. After getting her degree, Alex lived in Rwanda and Ethiopia and worked in the Peace Corps. These experiences solidified her interested in working with people from outside the United States. Here, Alex runs the Supporting Communities program which provides resources for refugees who are mostly independent but have long-term goals they need help reaching. As part of her position, Alex facilitates a social support group for Afghan women in Virginia and leads a 3-month civic engagement training for refugees in Maryland that helps them gain leadership skills and utilize their civil rights to support refugee rights causes.
Fun Fact: Alex has been to 20 countries!

Skills

Leadership Skill
100%
Training for refugees
96%
Coordination
100%

Phone

123

Location

Sliver Spring, MD

Atakhelti Alemseged

Community Advocate

Atakhelti was born and raised in Ethiopia where he went to the Addis Abba University and majored in Law. After coming to America in 2004, Atakhelti was actually an ECDC client through the Matching Grant Program. This experience motivated him to become a longtime volunteer for our Arlington office and eventually apply for a position. Atakhelti currently works as a Community Advocate where he helps clients prepare and apply for government documentation and provides translation and interpretation services. He is one of the few people in our office accredited by the Justice Department to assist immigrants in immigration proceedings before the Department of Homeland Security.

Phone

123

Location

Arlington, VA

Bethlehem Desta

Senior Program and Grant Manager

Bethlehem grew up in Ethiopia and went to school at the Unity University College in Addis Ababa where she majored in Economics. After moving to the United States in 2008, she received a second degree in Social Work from the University of the District of Columbia before pursuing a Master’s in Social Work at Howard University. Beginning in 2011, Bethlehem worked as a volunteer and intern for ECDC before transitioning to a full-time position in 2013. In her current position as the Senior Program and Grant Manager, Bethlehem supervises and review program budgets/expenses and ensure all programs are meeting their respective objectives and outcomes.

Phone

238

Location

Arlington, VA

Cara Zanta

Case Manager

Cara was born and raised in Upstate New York. She attended college at the University at Oneonta and received a B.A. in International Relations. Cara spent her years at Oneonta interning for the Study Abroad office where her passion for working with people from outside of the United States developed. She spent a semester studying abroad in Madrid, Spain where she also taught English as a Second Language to native Spanish speaking families. Cara was an Employment and Business Engagement intern at Ethiopian Community Development Council. She is currently working as a Case Manager in the ECDC’s Silver Spring office.

Location

Sliver Spring, MD

Emily Bayens

Resettlement Programs Manager

Emily holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations with a concentration in Peace and Justice Studies from Roanoke College. While receiving her undergraduate degree, Emily volunteered with a local refugee resettlement agency as an experiential learning component of a class on international politics. She then went on to volunteer with Sub-Saharan refugees in Morocco and also study the European migrant crisis while interning in Brussels. After graduation, Emily served as a Refugee AmeriCorps with the Intensive Case Management program at the International Rescue Committee in Charlottesville, Virginia. Emily then started working at ECDC ACC almost a year ago as the Health Liaison, managing the Preferred Communities program and organizing educational health workshops for clients. Now, Emily works as the Resettlement Programs Manager for the ECDC ACC office in Virginia, managing the various resettlement programs.

Phone

123

Location

Arlington, VA

Friba Adeel

PC-Case Management Assistant

Friba got her Master’s degree in Public Law from Afghanistan in 2014 and moved to the US on April 2014 as a SIV Refugee. She started working as an intern at VOA Ashna TV channel for one year and at the same time worked as a volunteer with the A_A_W_A organization to help the newcomer refugees from 2014-Present. She began to serve for two years as an AmeriCorps member at ECDC and CRCMC as a PC-Case Management Assistant and PC-Mediation Coordinator from April 2016-2018. Currently, she is enrolled in the MBA (Master of Business Management) at Strayer University and started working at ECDC as the Refugee Health Liaison.

Phone

334

Location

Arlington,VA

Hekmatullah Latifi

Case Manager

Latifi grew up in Afghanistan and received a degree in Aviation Management from Kabul University before pursuing a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership at the American University of Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, Latifi worked with the UNHCR and other organizations to help refugees in the area so, after coming to the United States in 2016, ECDC was a natural choice. As a Reception and Placement Case Manager, he does case management for newly arrived refugees who are in our Reception and Placement program. Specifically, Latifi helps refugees in the Virginia and DC area during their first three months as they settle into their new housing and apply to basic U.S. social services.

Skills

Skill 1
90%
Skill 2
90%
Skill 3
90%
Skill 4
90%

Phone

213

Location

Arlington, VA

Helen Gebru

Client Self-Sufficiency Program Coordinator

Helen was born and raised in Ethiopia where she got her B.A. in Management and Public Administration at the Addis Ababa University. After graduation she joined Commercial Bank of Ethiopia and worked as customer service officer for four years. She pursued a Master’s degree in Development studies at Uppsala University in Sweden and immigrated to America in 2012. She got involved with ECDC when she volunteered at the 2015 Refugee’s First Thanksgiving Event. Her volunteer experience at ECDC motivated her to apply for a job and got hired as client-service coordinator in February 2016. She now works as a Self Sufficiency Program Coordinator at ECDC/ACC Arlington office. In this position, Helen assists clients in preparing for and finding employment and oversees incoming and outgoing donations. She also process payables for ACC which involves ratifying fund requests sent by case managers and other stakeholders.

Phone

123

Location

Arlington, VA

Khadra Bashir

Resettlement Program’s Manager

Khadra was born in Somalia and lived in Kenya as a refugee before being resettled in the United States. Khadra joined ECDC/ACC DC in February as the Reception and Placement Program Manager. Khadra has over 5 years of experience working in resettlement in the role of direct service provider as well as program management. Throughout her career she has successfully performed supervisory functions such as assisting in hiring, training & evaluation of staff. In addition, she supervised Ameri-Corps volunteers, interns, staff, and community volunteers, and also assured that team members received appropriate training and support. 

Phone

2342

Location

Sliver Spring, MD

Konjit Edward

Family Enrichment Specialist

Konjit was born and raised in Ethiopia where she graduated from AA University with an Associate degree in Management.  Konjit has over 26 years of experience in different management capacity both in public and non-government organizations in Ethiopia.  Currently serving as the Family Enrichment Specialist, on Family Wellness and Youth LST programs, she also works as an Immigration Counselor accredited by the Justice Department to assist immigrants in immigration proceedings before the Department of Homeland Security.

Phone

220

Location

Arlington, VA

Maazalluh Hedayat 

Business Engagement Manager

Maazullah Hedayat joined ECDC in February 2019. He manages employers’ relations and works with refugees to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Before joining ECDC, Maazullah helped refugees find employment in Northern Virginia at Lutheran Social Service. He managed short and long term projects, including several cooperative agreements with the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of States and the World Bank Group.Maazullah has a Master in Business Administration (MBA) and earned a graduate diploma in International Relations & Politics from People’s Friendship University of Russia. He is pursuing a second major in Cybersecurity Management and Policy from the University of Maryland University College.
Fun Fact: Maazullah speaks five languages and wants to learn Spanish and French in the future.

Phone

436

Location

Sliver Spring, MD

Sarah Zullo

Director

Sarah was born in Ethiopia and lived in different parts of the world including west Africa, Europe, and Canada, eventually settling in the United States. She holds an MBA in Criminology and Spanish from the University of Montreal and Metropolitan State University of Denver and MPA from the University of Colorado and got her start with ECDC working for the ACC in Denver, Colorado for nearly four years. Currently she is the Director of the ACC DC Metro. Sarah oversees ACC DC Metro’s refugee resettlement and other social service support programs provided in the Washington, D.C., area. While she works in the Arlington ACC office, Sarah coordinate the activities and objectives of both offices, and facilitates communication between ACC DC Metro and the national office of ECDC.

Phone

248

Location

Arlington, VA

Scott Neff

Refugees programs

Scott was raised in St. Charles, Illinois and went to Grand Valley State University where he majored in International Relations. In college, he became extremely interested in fighting for human rights and actually interned in our office the summer before his senior year. After graduation, he turned that internship position into a full-time job where he works on our Integration team and runs the Preferred Communities and Service to Older Refugees programs. While handling some of the administrative work for these programs, Scott also provides individual case management to the refugees in these programs. He helps them overcome the major issues they have faced since moving to the United States and get on the path towards independence and self-sufficiency.

Phone

234

Location

Sliver Spring, MD

Selamawit Woldemichael

Domestic Violence (DV) and Trafficking Victims Assistance Program (TVAP) advocate

Selamawit is born and raised in Ethiopia. She holds a BSc in Information Systems from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia and an MA in Sociology from Uppsala University, Sweden. Selamawit worked as a researcher on human trafficking, specifically labor trafficking of Ethiopian women to the Middle East and trafficking of African women to Europe for sexual exploitation. She has published two books through the research projects she worked on. As of July 23, 2019, Selamawit is working as Domestic Violence (DV) and Trafficking Victims Assistance Program (TVAP) advocate at ECDC. Selamawit is a creative writing enthusiast and has published short stories in two books in collaboration with other Ethiopian writers.

Phone

122

Location

Arlington, VA

Sosina Baruda

Client Service Coordinator

Sosina grew up in Ethiopia and got her law degree from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. Three and a half years after moving to the United States in 2013, Sosina started working at ECDC where she is now a Client Service Coordinator. Sosina does much of the day-to-day work to make sure our clients are getting the services they need by referring them to programs within ECDC and to outside social services. She helps with case intake, manages case manager scheduling, provides translations services, prepares power of attorney, prepares monthly reports, manages our client databases, and processes supply requests.

Phone

243

Location

Arlington, VA

Tamar Zakaraia

Case Manager

Tamar was born and raised in Republic of Georgia. She holds bachelor’s degree in International Relations Concentration Far East-Japan from Free University of Tbilisi, Georgia. Currently she is pursuing master’s degree in Public Administration at George Mason University. Tamar started at ECDC as a Reception and Placement Intern. As of August 2019, she is a Case Manager for the same program. She is excited for the opportunity to help Refugees while starting new life in the United States.

Phone

275

Location

Arlington, VA

Yariana Rodriguez

Resource Development Manager

Yariana was born in Puerto Rico and went to the University of Puerto Rico for a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management. After graduating, she pursued a Master’s degree in Diplomacy with a focus on conflict Management at Norwich University. Motivated by the political climate and heightened scrutiny of refugees, she moved to Washington D.C. to work as an intern in the Silver Spring office of ECDC and Amnesty International while finishing the her graduate education. Afterwards, she took a full-time position at ECDC where she worked as the Resettlement Program Manager, managing all resettlement programs: handling reporting duties, preparing for audits, and coordinating the resettlement team. She currently holds the Resource Development Manager position and works with grant writing and reporting and volunteer coordination.

Phone

703 685 0510

Location

Arlington, VA

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