Director, Christian Children's Fund of Canada (CCFC) Board of Directors
Bekele was elected to the Christian Children’s Fund of Canada’s Board of Directors in September 2016. He has served as a member of various international Governing Boards and has held many senior positions in his career, including leading Switzerland-based International Federation of Red Cross and Crescent Societies (IFRC), as secretary general (CEO) for six years.
The government and humanitarian expert, worked hard to reach success in multiple organizations. In fact, as a former political prisoner — and elected chairman of prisoners — in Ethiopia, Bekele transformed the correctional facility where he was held for five years into a learning institution, feeding and transforming the minds of inmates. Later, in 1992, he entered Canada as a refugee, eventually becoming a citizen.
Bekele holds a master’s degree in economics from Leeds University in England and a B.A. in politics and economics from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. He received two honorary doctorates from Leeds University (U.K.) and Hanseo University (South Korea), in law and philosophy, respectively.
In November 2013, the IFRC General Assembly conferred Bekele secretary general emeritus.
Bekele has lived and worked in Africa, Europe, Asia and North America. The retired father of four now lives in Ottawa with his wife. Occasionally, he consults on international development issues and speaks at conferences.