Kassahun joined the Packard Foundation in 2018 and serves as the Ethiopia Program Specialist for the Foundation’s Agriculture, Livelihood, and Conservation Strategy.
Before joining the Foundation, Kassahun worked at the South African Institute of International Affairs as a researcher for the Governance of Africa’s Resources Program based in Cape Town. Kassahun was a founding member and the East and Horn of Africa Representative for the Young Africa Researchers in Agriculture (YARA) network which is being hosted at the University of the Western Cape.
Between 2004 and 2011, Kassahun worked with local communities and government partners in Ethiopia where he managed and executed complex humanitarian and development projects with CARE International in Ethiopia, Lutheran World Federation, and local organizations such as Fayyaa Integrated Development Organization.
Kassahun holds a Ph.D. in Development Studies from University of the Western Cape in South Africa in 2016, a MA Degree in Development Studies (Rural Livelihoods) from Addis Ababa University in 2008, and a BSc Degree in Plant Sciences from Haramaya University in 2002. He published policy-orientated articles on relevant development topics such as climate-smart agriculture, bioprospecting, extractive industries, and forest-based livelihoods.