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Atti Worku

Founder and CEO, Seeds of Africa


Atti Worku’s career has spanned across industries and continents, but it has always
adhered to one central tenet: great things can spring from rough conditions if they’re
given the right nourishment.

Born in Adama, Ethiopia, Worku has traveled the world, developing the educational
foundation for the next generation of African leaders. In founding Seeds of Africa, a New
York based 501(c)(3) not-for- profit organization and NGO, Worku aimed to address the
issue of poverty and lack of access to education and economic opportunities that she witnessed first hand by creating holistic education and community development centers within urban communities in Africa. At Seeds, Worku has implemented a unique model that addresses poverty from a family level by helping both students and their families through education initiatives and loan programs.

Prior to Seeds, worku worked as a fashion model; and was Miss Ethiopia in 2005 and went on to
represent her country in the Miss Universe pageant held in Bangkok, Thailand.

Worku is a recipient of many awards including African Diaspora Awards for Community
Service, and The African Youth Excellence Honorary Award. She has given speeches
and served on panels hosted at prestigious institutions such as The United Nations, the
Ford Foundation, Columbia University, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Women4Climate, and
New York University. She also serves on the Advisory board for the Open Heart Big
Dreams Fund and the Aspen Institute Society of Fellows New York Vangaurd
Leadership Board.

Worku attended Columbia University, where she made the Dean’s List and graduated
Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Sustainable Development. She currently lives in
New York City. Learn more about her Seeds of Africa work at

Regional Focus

Eastern and Southern Africa