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Tsedey Betru

Vice President,
Community LIFT
Memphis, TN, USA
As Vice President, Tsedey Betru manages the daily operations of Community LIFT, Memphis’ only community development and economic development intermediary. She also manages the Building Neighborhood Capacity Program, a federal grant that LIFT is leveraging to drive new investments to the neighborhoods of The Heights, Soulsville and Frayser. She manages the Memphis Slim Collaboratory, a community-based music studio for cultivating Memphis’ vast musical talent. She co-leads LIFT’s research on the local community and economic development field as well as River City Capital, LIFT’s small business loan and development fund.
Tsedey’s experiences immigrating to Memphis from Ethiopia led her to study Urban Development at Cornell University. After college she dived into coordinating a campaign finance reform project for the National Voting Rights Institute, worked as a youth organizer in West Oakland, and provided research for PolicyLink.
Tsedey returned to New York in 2002 to study Nonprofit Management & Urban Policy Analysis at New School University, while she worked on research contracts for Living Cities and Center for Social Inclusion. Completing her Master’s, Tsedey became Director of Administration for NYC Charter School Center. In 2007, she joined Drum Major Institute for Public Policy to build a national pipeline for young progressives to the public policy field. Today DMI Scholars work at every level of government and private policy institutions. After DMI, she consulted for the Center for Community Capital at UNC and the Young Men’s Initiative for the office of the Mayor of New York. Most recently prior to joining LIFT, Tsedey served on the Mayor’s Innovation Delivery Team, an initiative of Bloomberg Philanthropies. She now works passionately for neighborhood transformation in her hometown of Memphis TN as Vice President of Community LIFT. She also loves to paint, jog and volunteer.


LIFT is Memphis’ only community and economic development intermediary that provides financial, organizational-capacity and social capital investments in Memphis’ core neighborhoods. LIFT was created by leaders from every sector of the city to fill a funding void for neighborhood-level economic development in Memphis, TN. We serve as a reservoir for pooling local resources together and attracting national funds for the express benefit of Memphis’ disenfranchised neighborhoods. LIFT also applies a data-driven strategy for investment in its target communities of Upper South Memphis, Greater Binghampton, and Frayser, while supporting the strengthening of the community development industry citywide

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