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Seble Nebiyeloul M.H.A.

IFA Co-Founder Country Director

Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, left for the United States as a youngster, after her father was executed during the communist revolution that overthrew imperial rule in 1974.

Seble, an alumnus of Nazreth School in Addis Ababa, went on to complete high school and college in Kentucky, to then pursue graduate school at the University of Maryland to study health care administration before settling in New York. In her professional life, she climbed the proverbial ladder, ascending to vice president of a public health organization. Her hard work yielded success and some happiness, but somehow, she felt unfulfilled. When offered a promotion to chief operating officer of her company, she declined to embark on a journey that took her back to her roots.

In 2006, Seble Nebiyeloul, returned to Ethiopia for a short visit and because of her background in the health field, ended up at Yekatit 12 hospital, one of the main referral hospitals in Addis Ababa. During this visit, she with her cousin, Dr Anteneh Roba, witnessed firsthand the horrendous situation of the pediatrics emergency room, where mothers coming from miles outside Addis with very sick newborn babies were being turned away because the hospital lacked much needed medical equipment to treat these children. What was needed were not highly sophisticated machinery – they needed incubators, phototherapy machines, oxygen concentrators, etc.

On her return to the US, Seble and Dr Anteneh raised the necessary fund to ship all the equipment needed to establish a state-of-the-art neonatal intensive care unit at Yekatit 12 hospital. Thereafter, Seble returned frequently to Ethiopia and witnessed the impact of their investment in the number of lives saved.

The contrast between the weak healthcare system of Ethiopia and the advanced healthcare available in the US spurred her to dedicate her life to the betterment of the lives of children. Thus, Seble co-founded International Fund for Africa (IFA), an international nonprofit organization with a mission to improve the well-being of children in Ethiopia and beyond.

Seble uses her mix of knowledge, skills and multicultural heritage as an influencer in the development field in Ethiopia. As a philanthropist, she brings an innovative approach; she introduced a hybrid model of giving by establishing a profit-making enterprise that will use its profits to sustain IFA financially so that IFA can gradually scale up its impact and remain financially secure, independent from donor dependency. As a leader, she encourages team leadership which resulted in establishing a highly engaged and motivated team at IFA.