Semhar Araia is the CEO of Semai Consulting, a trained lawyer, social entrepreneur and faculty member at George Washington University. With a background in African affairs, women’s leadership and international development, Semhar provides strategic guidance, analysis and training for clients focused on development, diasporas, migration, and leadership, including governments, businesses, diasporas, academia, nonprofit organizations and individuals. She is also the founder of DAWN, the Diaspora African Women’s Network, an organization whose mission is to support and help develop the next generation of African diaspora professional women focused on African affairs.
Semhar's previous experience includes working for the United States Congress, Oxfam International, Nelson Mandela’s organization, The Elders, and as an attorney for the implementation of the 2000 Eritrea-Ethiopia peace agreement. She is a White House Champion of Change and an African Union Diaspora Awardee of the Year recognized for her diaspora organizing and community work. Semhar is an avid Twitter user (@Semhar) and was listed in Foreign Policy’sTop 100 Foreign Policy Women on Twitter. She is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has been featured in theFinancial Times, BBC, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, Ventures Africa and other media outlets. Semhar was born in New York City to Eritrean immigrant parents and resides in Washington, DC.