About Me

Menna Demessie is a senior research and policy analyst for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and adjunct professor of political science at the University of California Washington Center. She received her joint Ph.D. in Public Policy and Political Science from the University of Michigan in August 2010, along with her M.A in Political Science and Certificate in African American, African and Black Transnational Studies. Her dissertation is entitled, "Navigating the Boundaries of Blackness: Congressional Caucuses, U.S. Foreign Policy, and African Affairs" and her research focuses on legislative behavior, foreign policy, immigration, and racial and ethnic politics. Having received the American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship (APSA), Menna worked for Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 112th Congress in 2011. The APSA Congressional Fellowship is the oldest and most prestigious fellowship for scholars who study political science with five political scientists in the country selected per year. In her latest publication in PS: Political Science & Politics Journal (July 2011, Vol.44, No.3) entitled, "Congress from the Inside: U.S.-Africa Foreign Policy and Black Ethnic Politics," she discusses the importance of emerging black ethnic constituencies in the American Polity and the need for the U.S. government to recognize the value of working in partnership with diaspora communities in addressing U.S. foreign policy. Menna currently serves as the historian for the National Conference of Black Political Scientists (NCOBPS) and has served as the National Youth Coordinator for the Society of Ethiopians Established in the Diaspora (SEED) since 2000. Fore more information on these organizations, please visit www.ncobps.org and www.ethioseed.org
See her 2011 televesion interview on the Ethiopian Broadcasting System here:
Menna received her B.A. in Economics and Law and Society (with honors) from Oberlin College where she also served as senior class president. She also was the 2006 Walter Rodney Prize Recipient at the University of Michigan for her paper entitled, "Rethinking the American Dream: Immigration and Depression in the case of Sinedu Tadesse," which was published in the International Journal of Ethiopian Studies in the Fall of 2009. She was also part of the Gerald R. Ford School Public Policy team that traveled to Ethiopia to conduct social and economic analyses prior to the 2005 elections in Ethiopia and has spoken on Capitol Hill among other places about the critical need for grassroots political and civic engagement of Ethiopian Americans in the U.S. and abroad.