Mark Gelfand created STEM Synergy (and its predecessor the Gelfand Family Charitable Trust) because of a passion for science&engineering, as well as a desire to give forward. His mission is to see all students have access to the same kind of quality STEM education experience that he had in the United States. After witnessing deserving students achieve success at Yemin Orde Youth Village in Israel, he knew that if given the opportunity, students in developing nations could thrive and become scientists and engineers in their communities. He is also involved in helping build the industrial capacity of Ethiopian exports though TodayTomorrow Ventures.
Mark Gelfand earned his B.S. in Physics at Carnegie-Mellon University.
His motto: "Inside every child is a scientist"
Tsegaye Legesse serves as President on STEM Synergy’s Board of Directors. Currently, he works as a Project Manager for a federal financial management consulting group.
Tsegaye is also the founder/CEO of Hulu (Diversified) Financial Consulting. He brings over 20 years of combined professional work experiences in Accounting, Finance, Investment, Leadership, Strategic Planning and Project Management.
In prior roles, Tsegaye served as Accounting Manager in the National Institute of Health (FAES) in Bethesda, MD, as an Assistant Controller at SEIU Pension and Health Care Funds in Washington DC, and as a manager in government and nonprofits in the DC area.
In Ethiopia, he was Communication Officer at World Vision International.
Tsegaye received his BA in Accounting and MBA in Finance & Decision Sciences from the University of Baltimore /Towson. He graduated with great honor in Educational Leadership from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.
Tsegaye earned his CPA certificate in the US.
Yisehak Shata serves as Treasurer on STEM Synergy's Board of Directors.
Yisehak is a Senior Project Manager for Branch Civil Company that is very well known in transportation and infrastructural development in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast United States. He is responsible for Project Management of heavy civil construction, design-build, and site development. He has been with the same firm for the last 14 years.
Yisehak brings over a total of 18 years of experience in project management experiences including but not limited to planning, organizing, staffing, directing, controlling and executing. Before he moved to the US, he worked in Ethiopia for South Roads Authority and Contractors as a civil engineer for 4 years.
Yisehak is very interested in utilizing technology to bring meaningful development in Ethiopia.
Yisehak received BS in Civil Engineering from Addis Ababa University and Master of Engineering in Project Management from University of Maryland.
Yisehak has earned his PE (Professional Engineer) license from the state of Maryland and Virginia.
Kidist Gebreamlak serves as Executive Director of STEM Synergy, and has served on its Board of Directors.
Prior to this role, Kidist was a program specialist at the Center for Global Health Impact and the Institute for Leadership Impact at Southern Methodist University. She worked in project development at the Corporation for National & Community Service, and in consulting and program support for the World Bank Group. She also served as a research assistant at George Mason University and at the Institute for Security Studies.
Kidist earned her B.A. in International Development at George Mason University and her M.A. in Sustainable Development from the School for International Training. She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Liberal Studies (D.L.S.) at Southern Methodist University. Her research focuses on human-centered design thinking for sustainable development in the context of sub-Saharan Africa.
Kidist loves Mediterranean cuisine, almost as much as she enjoys injera be wot (a traditional Ethiopian food).
Tewodros earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 2017, at Bahir Dar Institute of Technology,
Michael earned his B. S. degree from Hawassa University in the field of Electromechanical Engineering.
He has worked as a HVAC system supervisor and in the FDRE Air Force UAV production department.
Eyob earned his B. S. in Electrical Engineering, at the Ethiopian Defense Engineering College. His academic specialization was in Electrical Equipment Design.
Eyob has more than 6 years of experience in the Ethiopia Air Force, serving as electronics and electrical specialist, electrical&electronics workshop supervisor, Avionics section head, and electronics&electrical course lecturer. He also has 2 years experience working at Glitter Biomedical Technology, where he installed and programmed PLC and Microcontroller-based machines.