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Our Team



President & CEO

Hamdi co-founded ACHD in 2018 as a community solution to institutional barriers facing the African immigrant and refugee community. She is a prominent leader in the Puget Sound region and has over 20 years of experience advocating for the African Diaspora community. Hamdi holds degrees from Lafoole University and George Mason University and was an accomplished teacher in her home country of Somalia. She is a member of the Community Café Collaborative, the Communities of Concern Commission, the WA Dept. of Commerce Rental Assistance & Homeless System Performance Measures Steering Committee, and the King County Parks Healthy Communities & Parks Fund Commission. Hamdi is the proud recipient of numerous accolades celebrating her commitment to community advocacy, including King County Council’s MLK Jr. Medal of Distinguished Service and Congressman Adam Smith’s Champion of Justice award. She was also presented with the South King County Council Human Services Equity and Social Justice award for exemplary community leadership, and King County’s Larry Gossett Service Award for her contributions to racial equity. Hamdi is polylingual (English, Somali, Arabic, and Italian) and spends her time away from work writing Somali-language poetry and playing chess with her grandchildren.  



Vice President

Bilan co-founded ACHD with Hamdi and advances our mission through dynamic projects that prioritize the next generation of the African Diaspora community. She is fluent in English and Somali and utilizes her bachelor’s degree in marketing from Seattle University and her master’s in education from the University of Washington, IslandWood, to develop programs deeply rooted in culture. Bilan believes in continuous education and holds Family Engagement and Nonprofit Financial Stewardship Program certifications from Harvard University and a P-3 Executive Leadership certificate from UW. She serves on the People’s Economy Lab Steering Committee, the City of Seattle’s Sweetened Beverage Tax Community Advisory Board, the Communities of Opportunity Governance Group, the inaugural Black Homeownership Legacy Fund Committee, and the King County Immigrant and Refugee Commission. Outside work, she keeps busy exploring the PNW environment with her husband and daughter. 


Abel Abay

Case Manager - Housing & Social Services

Abel came to the United States in 2013 and currently calls Seattle home. He brings a background in information technology to the case management team. Abel is one of the first faces participants see at ACHD and ensures they feel welcome in our space. He finds fulfillment in helping others and watching them succeed holistically – being safely housed, employed, and educated. Abel believes in fostering equal opportunities for all. When away from the office, Abel enjoys watching soccer and playing music. 



Case Manager - Senior Program

Asad has grown up with ACHD as a fixture in his life. As a child, he participated in afterschool programs led by our team and has embraced our mission from day one. Now, with a business degree from South Seattle College, he works with others to ensure their families have the same opportunities he did. Asad has the unique ability to connect with our community elders, easily bypassing generational barriers to ensure our seniors are cared for holistically. He has served on King County’s Community Investment Budget Committee and looks forward to more opportunities to be involved as a community advocate. In his free time, Asad enjoys playing video games and spending time with his wife and new baby. 



Case Manager - Youth & Family Homelessness

Mustafe currently calls the Seattle area home and, at work, supports families in finding their place to call home. He primarily works with unhoused youth and families and cultivates a safe space for them to succeed. Mustafe’s calm demeanor and ability to tackle complex problems make him an asset for these at-risk populations. He has experience supporting people holistically with housing, social services, employment, and more. Mustafe’s priority is ensuring people have security and find joy when he can put a smile on their faces. Outside of work, you can find Mustafe on the basketball court or reading a new book.  

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Senior Housing Case Manager

Shirwa brings over 10 years of social service and advocacy experience to his work at ACHD. He is dedicated to providing a high-quality experience for our program participants. In his work at ACHD, Shirwa collaborates with individuals and families to find them a place to call home that is both safe and affordable. At his Des Moines home, Shirwa embraces time with his children and fulfills his passion for live theater by composing music, writing scripts, and producing/directing performances.  



Director of Housing, Social Services, & Economic Development

Ethiopia combines her experiential knowledge with a bachelor’s in human services and management to lead our housing, social services, & economic development teams. She is a well-known leader throughout the King County Ethiopian community. Her ability to serve as a liaison between the African Diaspora community and people in positions of power makes her an influential trailblazer. She is an incredible asset to our team and brings over 20 years of nonprofit leadership experience. Before joining ACHD, Ethiopia served as the Executive Director for Ethiopia Community in Seattle and was a founder of Ethiopian Village. She also served as a liaison for the City of Seattle and King County – connecting these government officials directly with their African constituents. She identifies community service as her life mission, serving the community as a leader who can fill institutional gaps and help the African Diaspora immigrant and refugee community. Outside of the office, Ethiopia spends quality time with her husband and two children.  



Communications Manager

Marisa’s background in philanthropy, paired with a passion for serving community, led her to the ACHD team. After graduating from the University of Washington, she found her drive for nonprofit work. Today, Marisa promotes our mission through internal and external communication channels and is committed to uplifting the diverse voices of the African Diaspora community. She was named a 2022 Association of Fundraising Professionals Scholar and served on the NextGen Board at Birds Connect Seattle. In need of a weird animal fact? Marisa’s your gal! Outside work, Marisa spends quality time with her dog, chickens, duck, and goose and is committed to solving the daily New York Times Crossword. 



Case Manager - Eviction Prevention

Yusuf helped lay the foundation that became ACHD and is an incredible resource for the African Diaspora community. He is an unlimited fount of knowledge and looks at problems through the lens of empathy and compassion. Yusuf is highly connected within the Washington social services network and utilizes this web to provide holistic services for our participants. He brings over a decade of service experience to his work at ACHD and prioritizes the well-being and dignity of all we serve. In his free time, Yusuf enjoys reading, learning, and revisiting the farm life he loved in Somalia.

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Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Specialist

Betselot (Betsy) is a community advocate with a deep-seated passion for social justice and a genuine desire to address disparities in marginalized communities. She has a bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Washington and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Community Health and Social Justice. Outside of work, Betsy enjoys exploring new things and spending time with loved ones. She looks forward to learning and growing with ACHD!


Gradyn Carthon

HR Specialist

Gradyn comes to ACHD from Florida and brings his degree in business administration and experience in human resources to the team. He supports the team in building systems that promote efficiency and a positive workplace environment. Gradyn also manages the hiring and onboarding process at ACHD and works with our new hires to ensure they have a strong foundation to grow at our organization. Outside of work, Gradyn volunteers on the Board of Directors for his community homeowners’ association and explores the city he now calls home. 


Indra Budiman

Assistant Farmers Market Manager

Indra grew up in New York City and around the East Coast, coming to the Pacific Northwest to grow food and deepen her relationship with the land, mountains, and sacred waters. As a farmer and traditional Chinese medicine healer, Indra is driven by cultural seed stewardship, ancestral agroecology, and food as medicine. Indra is super excited to continue building resilient community networks and food security through ACHD’s food access programming. On Saturdays, May – October, you can find Indra at the Delridge Farmers Market; come say hi! 


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Director of Fundraising and Communications

Zzaj brings over 15 years of marketing and communications experience, spanning nonprofit and for-profit sectors. She's dedicated to crafting brand experiences and narratives that uphold the dignity, respect, and representation of communities of color. Central to her work is a commitment to excellence and compassion. Outside the office, she enjoys engaging in community work alongside her husband and four children.


Brianna Dancy

African Diaspora Health & Wellness Manager

Brianna is originally from Dallas, TX where she earned her bachelor’s degree in community health. She spent four years in public schools as an educator, dedicated to mentoring young scholars. After moving to the Seattle area, Brianna made the switch to the social services sector to serve communities from a different perspective. She now serves the African Diaspora community by providing essential basic needs and educational workshops on becoming healthier, physically and mentally. Still passionate about uplifting future generations, Brianna brings her unique southern hospitality and supports the education team on field trips and camping excursions as she joins them in exploring the Pacific Northwest’s natural world. Outside of work, she can be found exploring her new city and finding its hidden gems. 



Database & IT Administrator

Mohamed brings a breadth of knowledge and experience in computer network architecture to ACHD’s data team. He works directly with case managers to ensure our participant data is both accurate and secure. Mohamed is an expert at making complex solutions understandable for all levels of technical understanding. In the human services sector, our data has to encompass many aspects of both qualitative and quantitative data, and Mohamed is well-versed in making sure our database gives an accurate view of the entire individual and the experiences that brought them to ACHD. Outside of ACHD, he enjoys hiking with friends and family and playing soccer. 



Community Outreach Manager

Ifrah was a part of the community group that helped establish ACHD. She has spent many years dedicated to building and serving the African immigrant and refugee community in King County.  In her current work, she works directly with families to keep them informed on ACHD's current education programs. Ifrah is an expert connector and a trusted leader in the local African Diaspora community. Outside of work, Ifrah spends quality time with family and dedicates time to reading the Quran.


Amen Farra

Case Manager - Housing & Social Services

Amen moved to Washington in 2010 from her home country of Ethiopia. As an immigrant, she is passionate about assisting newcomers navigate systems and resources. She is trilingual, being fluent in English and two Ethiopian languages (Amharic and Sidamigna). Amen brings years of experience in customer service, social work, and healthcare through nonprofit organizations. At ACHD, she is eager to apply her skills and collaborate with the team. Beyond work, Amen leads a young adults’ group at her local church and is pursuing further education in leadership. In her free time, she cherishes moments with her growing family and church friends, whether watching movies, hiking, or crafting DIY event decorations. 



Senior Manager of Food, Health, & Wellness

Daniel loves food in all its forms – from seed to table and all the steps in between. Born and raised in the Seattle area, he studied Sustainable Practices at Cascadia College and has worked on farms and eateries across the country as a farmer, educator, and manager. Daniel strives to create deep, lasting connections around what and how we choose to eat. He leads ACHD’s farmers markets, food access, and health and wellness initiatives by prioritizing the accessibility of affordable and culturally relevant health to the community. If he’s not playing in the garden, Daniel can usually be found riding a bike, strumming a guitar, or cooking up a storm. 



Chief Housing Specialist

Aden supported Hamdi and Bilan in ACHD’s establishment and is a deeply respected community leader within the African Diaspora immigrant and refugee community. He has over 20 years of human service experience, creating an intricate network of relationships with other nonprofits, government officials, and local landlords. He has housed thousands of individuals and families across Washington state and is widely considered an expert in housing large families (7+) experiencing homelessness. Aden currently supervises ACHD’s intake team. He is versed in handling complicated multicultural and multilingual cases, regularly providing interpretation and coordination across agencies on complex cases involving multiple parties and attorneys. Aden is deeply connected and experienced in outreach and family engagement, lending his skills to ACHD’s efforts. 



Senior Manager of Small Business Support

Abokor provides capacity building and technical assistance for King County’s African Diaspora small business owners. He enjoys working one-on-one with business entrepreneurs to identify local and state grants, loans, and capital. Abokor also provides educational workshops that encompass the entire business development process. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and volunteering at the Delridge Farmers Market. 


Habtamu Kabeto

Fundraising Operations Coordinator

Habtamu was born and raised in Ethiopia and moved to the United States in 2014. He graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in geography - data science. He is married and has two daughters. Habtamu loves to travel and pursue causes that are important to him. He is passionate about community development, equity, and technology. Habtamu believes in building authentic relationships built on common ground and shared values.


Etaferahu Leta

Finance Associate

Etaferahu is originally from Ethiopia and moved to the USA in 2006. She has a bachelor’s degree in Arts and an AAS degree in Mathematics. Etaferahu has been working in accounting for 13 years at various organizations. She also worked for 10 years in the teaching field. She is an expert at organizing ACHD's finances and expenses. When away from work, Etaferahu likes to spend time with friends, watch movies, and hike.


David Lieberman

Development Manager

David is a licensed architect and real estate developer in Seattle. He is dedicated to enhancing the city through the development of mixed-use affordable housing and sustainable design. David believes that high-quality buildings and engaged, inclusive communities are necessities for Seattle's growth. 

Originally hailing from Indianapolis, Indiana, he holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and a Master of Architecture from the University of Oregon. Before joining ACHD, David is the co-founder of a real estate development firm and architecture studio. His prior experiences extend to serving as a project architect for large and complex projects in Seattle and around the world. David also does pro-bono work developing housing solutions for ALS patients. 

At ACHD, he enthusiastically leads real-estate development projects, from townhouses to mixed-use apartment buildings - furthering the mission of the company to provide stable, affordable housing for African Diaspora immigrant and refugee communities. As a dedicated leader and community member, David is committed to shaping Seattle's future with a focus on community well-being.

In his personal time, David likes to relax with his wife, daughter, dog, and friends. He is passionate about amateur photography and backcountry snowboarding.


Tiffany Lunsford

Education Programs Coordinator

Tiffany is an experienced educator and translator. She completed her B.S in Education from the University of Houston. Later, she earned her M.A in Literature Translation from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Tiffany loves photography, watching movies, painting, and working out. She truly believes that education will change children's lives. 

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Samater Mahmoud

Case Manager - Rapid Rehousing

Samater was born and raised in Seattle, WA, and is excited to help his community with his role at ACHD. In the Rapid Rehousing program, Sam is responsible for finding homes for individuals and families experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. He is a voice connecting community with resources and is an expert at navigating complex housing systems. During his free time, he enjoys playing basketball and watching the Mariners.

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Senior Manager of Workforce & Housing

Amal is a seasoned professional with more than seven years of dedicated service in the diverse communities of South King County. Her professional commitment is underscored by a passion for delivering mindful and equitable social services. In her current role, Amal is fervently dedicated to spearheading ACHD’s initiatives aimed at fostering economic and housing stability for the African Diaspora communities in King County. Amal has a unique way of connecting with our participants, nurturing a bond of trust from their first interaction. Participants know that whether they need support landing a career or are stuck with a flat tire on the highway, Amal is a friend they can call. 



Senior Manager of Operations

Julia grew up in Washington state and spent her summers enjoying the Seattle Public Library and beautiful WA weather. She loves to learn! Julia enjoys spending time outside and creating beautiful things. She runs her own florist business, Fleur Fresca, and creates stunning arrangements. On a long weekend you can find her designing, hitting the dunes, or daydreaming about her future farm. She can’t wait to grow with ACHD. For Julia, success is helping our community.


Lourdes Núñez Salcido

Program Educator - Federal Way

Lourdes grew up enjoying the great outdoors - thanks to her father who prioritized showing their family the world. With his support in every new hobby or sport she was interested in, her father ignited her spirit to live peacefully and enjoy life to the fullest. As she grew up, Lourdes' afternoons would be spent taking the light rail to downtown Seattle after school - enjoying the scenery while she waited for her mom to be off work. Although her initial course was to join the first responder field, Lourdes started working in education right out of school. She became passionate about the amount of influence a great teacher can bring by establishing a healthy learning environment. Lourdes believes that our future depends on our educators. "We are the ones who can break or make a change in their learning environments and habits." She strives for positivity and is committed to scholarship and diligence. When she's on a break, she enjoys disconnecting and indulging in beautiful days in Mexico. 


Annie Ramnarine

Finance Associate

Annie is originally from Guyana, South America and moved to Washington in March 2023. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and has over 20 years’ experience in accounting. Annie has gained valuable experience working with International Funding Agencies with a focus on contract management, budgeting, and financial statements. In her free time, Annie enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and reading.



Director of Finance

Teri joined ACHD in October of 2020 to build the agency's capacity to manage its finances as it grows in size and complexity. Teri brings with her thirty years of nonprofit experience; she has extensive knowledge in nonprofit leadership, business finance, budgeting, and project management. Teri is excited to provide support and leadership to the amazing team at ACHD as they impact the community in so many ways. Outside of work, Teri enjoys spending time with her beautiful daughters.


Elle Rivera Soto

K-12 Education Manager

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Elle called Chicago home for 16 years prior to making the move to the Pacific Northwest in summer 2023. She graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with a bilingual/ESL education minor and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a creative writing concentration. She then went on to earn her Master of Arts in differentiated instruction from Concordia University Chicago in 2015, where she is also pursuing her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in curriculum and instruction. Elle worked as a bilingual educator for 12 years at Sullivan High School—also known as Refugee High—where she also served as grade-level team lead, curriculum developer, standards-alignment specialist, postsecondary coach, and social-emotional learning lead. Her journey has now brought her to Washington, where she is leading and learning from a new team at ACHD. When she is not working or researching for her dissertation, Elle can be found playing video games, exploring her new home state, singing at shul, or writing.



S.T.E.A.M. Education Program Specialist

Laurie grew up in Arizona, exploring the beauty of the southwest. As a child, she spent time hiking, swimming in creeks, and climbing mountains. She has a bachelor's degree in elementary education, with a minor in STEAM and environmental education. Laurie also has a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from Arizona State University. She has spent over a decade working with learners of all ages, teaching STEAM, environmental education, and social-emotional learning. Laurie believes connection is vital for individual and community success and has spent her career building on that belief. Laurie moved to Washington in 2018 and loves the nature of the PNW. On her off time, you can find Laurie out exploring or spending time with her family and friends. She is always learning something new and loves to try new things. 



Outdoor Programs Coordinator

Xavier moved to Washington in February 2023. He joined ACHD to create and lead programs for youth in the Education department. Before heading to WA he spent his time working at different camps around the US, starting as a counselor in training in Illinois. From there he spent time as a Unit Director at Fairview Lake YMCA in New Jersey and a Program Director in Florida and Texas. "I love to go on hikes and ride bikes, and I am very excited about the position!"


Ebneazer Tsegaye

Community Engagement Coordinator

Ebneazer was born and raised in Ethiopia before coming to the United States in 2013. Since then, he has graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in information systems and started a dynamic career. He has previously worked as a communications designer and project manager. Ebneazer loves the design of all things and is an expert at combining creativity with structure. As ACHD’s Community Engagement Coordinator, Ebneazer works directly with our community to determine what needs exist and how ACHD can support them. Outside of work, he leads his church's young adult ministry. He is passionate about continued education and takes the time to learn new things while spending time with his growing family and friends in our Pacific Northwest environment.  



Capital Campaign & Individual Giving Manager

Celia Weisman is a changemaker and professional fundraiser who takes delight in inspiring philanthropy. She has worked on both east and west coasts to help build sustainable nonprofits that advance social, gender, economic, and housing justice. Passionate about implementing community-centric fundraising approaches, Celia strives to create authentic relationships, connect folks across divides, and evolve spaces and systems that are more equitable, inclusive, transparent, and soul-centered. When not trying to stir up “good trouble,” Celia enjoys meditating, yoga, reading, knitting, walking, and hanging with her college student daughter. Celia graduated from Barnard College with a degree in comparative religion and earned a Master of Arts in feminist studies in women and the arts from Columbia University. 


Mohamed Yussuf

Case Manager - Diversion

A Seattle native, Mohamed is dedicated to furthering the development and supporting his community. Mohamed works across many programs in ACHD, supporting our work with those at the highest risk of experiencing homelessness. His work provides stability and holistic support as individuals and families navigate complicated systems, including the judicial system. Mohamed is motivated by ACHD's progress and looks forward to contributing his expertise as we make more advancements in the service of the African Diaspora community. 

Our Board

Abdihakim Hassan

Ayan Osman

Hassan Osman

Abdiaziz Qood

Ahmednur Yusuf

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