Abebe Demissie Tefera (PhD), Managing Director

Abebe Demissie possesses a PhD degree undertaken as a split program between the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway and Washington State University, USA, Master’s degree from the University of Reading, UK and BSc degree from the College of Agriculture, Addis Ababa University. He has specialized short-term trainings in various areas including conservation sciences, gender mainstreaming, project management, M & E, specialized software, etc. He has over 20 years of experience working with national and regional institutions in eastern Africa in the area of biodiversity conservation, natural resources management and climate change adaptation and mitigation areas. As a regional coordinator, he worked with national partners in 8 eastern African countries.  Prior to joining the regional agricultural research institution, ASARECA, as a regional coordinator for the Eastern Africa Plant Genetic Resources Network (EAPGREN/ASARECA) based in Entebbe, Uganda, Abebe worked for over 6 years as a general manager of the Institute of Biodiversity Conservation (IBC) (one of the largest genebanks in Africa arguably in the world then) in Addis Ababa. In his capacity as a general manager, he provided leadership in research management and strategic guidance in the area of biodiversity conservation and use. He also led and participated in developing projects for submission to development partners including, the World Bank, Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and lately to the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).  Before he became the general manager (IBC), Abebe worked as a research scientist at IBC and as a technical assistant at the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), Holetta.


At international level, Abebe participated in the external review of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) centers as a consultant and led the external review panel of the SPGRC (SADC Plant Genetic Resources Program involving 14 southern African countries) whose headquarters is based in Lusaka, Zambia.  Furthermore, Abebe participated in FAO forums on PGR treaty negotiations as the head of the Ethiopian delegation, spokes-person to the Africa group and served as a co-chair at several FAO negotiation forums, Rome, Italy. He also participated in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) negotiations as a member of the SBSTTA (Subsidiary Body for Scientific, Technical and Technical Advice of CBD), Montreal Canada. Abebe has published a number of journal articles and workshop papers that have been published in proceedings and books.

Alula Habtegiorgis, Geologist/Environmentalist

Alula has MSc degree in Petroleum GeoScience from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway and BSc degree in Geology from the Addis Ababa University. He has a certificate in Geological Data Management from the Royal Museum for Central Africa, in Belgium. Alula has a number of important short-term trainings on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Environmental Assessment (EA), and an advanced International Training on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) organized by Ramboll Natura in collaboration with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Sweden. Alula has one year on-the-job formal in-house training in regional geological mapping and mineral exploration. During the training period, he had actively participated in regional mapping and geochemical exploration, mainly soil sampling for base metals, on the low-grade greenstone belt of the Adola Gold Field.


Alula recently worked as an Environmental Monitoring Expert (freelance), Hifab Oy Consultancy Services, a contract for Ethio-Sudan Power System Interconnection Project of the Ethiopian Electric and Power Corporation (EEPCo) whose responsibility included supervising the environmental performance and compliance with the Environmental Management Plan (EMP) of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Study (ESIA) of the project. As Senior Environmental Impact Assessment Expert, at the Environmental Protection Authority, he was engaged in conducting review of environmental impact study reports of public and private sector development projects. Moreover, he also prepared sector specific environmental impact assessment guidelines to enable investors to comply with the environmental laws and regulations of the country and participated in national capacity need self assessment with regard to proactive environmental management tools (EIA, SEA, Cumulative Impact Assessment, and Risk Assessment). Alula served as regional technical committee member for the Joint Multipurpose Program (JMP) and Cooperative Regional Assessment (CRA) of Integrated Watershed Management in the Eastern Nile Basin of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), representing the Federal Environmental Protection Authority.


Alula worked as local Project Coordinator and Geodata Expert, SWEDISH GEOLOGICAL (Hifab AB) and Spatial Dimention (Pty) Ltd, (Consortium), for Cadastre Management System Project of Ministry of Mines and Energy of Ethiopia whose responsibilities included assessing the technical, logistical and human resource capacity of Regional Mining Offices and organizing training programs on Cadastre Management System. As a senior Petroleum Geologist, Ministry of Mines and Energy. Alula’s major duties included compiling all the available geological, geochemical and geophysical information and assessing petroleum potentials of frontier basins in various regions of Ethiopia. As Exploration Geologist, Ethiopian Institute of Geological Survey (EIGS), he carried out regional geological mapping on the Eastern part of Abay (Blue Nile) Basin to assess the potential for hydrocarbons, conducted geological mapping and compiled the geophysical information to evaluate the potential of the coal occurrence in Mush Valley, Central Ethiopia. He also worked as a team leader in the geological mapping for coal and oilshale in Sola area, Southern Ethiopia. In some these activities, Alula lead the operations and produced sound technical reports.


Maaza C. Mekuria (PhD, PE, PTOE), GIS and System Modeling Expert

Maaza Mekuria is founder and principal of Axum Design Engineering Corp ( He has over 25 years experience in engineering and science in both public and private sectors. He has been consulting in sustainable transport (transit and bicycle modes) for over 10 years. He has also taught science and mathematics at colleges in Boston, Massachusetts and San Jose, California. USA. He has authored and co-authored three papers peer-reviewed journals and made several presentations in research and professional venues.


He has BSCE from Anna University, Chennai, India, MSc and PhD from Northeastern University, in Boston, Massachusetts, USA His research interests include Transit Systems modeling ( and Bicycle transport modeling (, application of Spatial Analysis in transport (, Traffic/Transit Simulation, Network modeling and analysis, GIS software and database design for transportation applications. His knowledge and experience in modeling and GIS can very well stretch to other sectors of development.


Maaza is registered as a Professional Engineer in Massachusetts, Maryland and Hawaii and is certified as a Professional Traffic Operations Engineer. He is a Mineta Transportation Institute Research Associate at San Jose State University, San Jose, CA (, USA.

Akaleselassie Mekuria, IT Officer

Akaleselassie holds a degree in Information Technology (BIT) from Nkumba University, Uganda  and diplomas in Computer Science and in Statistics from the Addis Ababa University. She worked at the UNFPA (UN agency) as a research assistant and IT manager for 10 years. Prior to that, she worked in the Science and Technology Commission and in the Institute of Biodiversity Conservation as documentalist and IT person. Akale was a founding member of CPU Center and CPU College and thought IT courses at the center. She has a wide experience in programming, computer network administration  and  technical services in IT. Her software knowledge coupled with her hardware experience is a huge asset to the firm.