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Yaffa Tegegne

Human rights advocate with an innate passion for public service.

Fluent in English, French, Spanish and Hebrew, Yaffa studied Political Science and International Relations at Concordia University before graduating from the joint Civil & Common Law Program (B.C.L./LL.B.) at McGill University, where she received the R. Hart Memorial Scholarship. She interned for Amnesty International in Asunción, Paraguay, and was selected by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) for the Dialogue Across the Americas Program. After law school, Yaffa worked in the Juvenile Rights Division of the Legal Aid Society, the largest public defender in New York, representing minors in Family Court child protective cases. 


In 2014, Yaffa served as the Montreal Executive Director for Canadian Rights in Quebec, a political lobby group with over 20,000 members dedicated to the protection of guaranteed rights under the Canadian Charter, where she successfully lobbied for special status legislation for the city of Montreal. Since 2018, she has served as a Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) Ambassador as a representative of the Montreal Jewish Community, representing the Jewish and Ethiopian Jewish communities at various intercultural events, and taking part in the annual Jewish delegation to the Quebec National Assembly. 


In 2019 Yaffa created the Baruch Tegegne Scholarship for Ethiopian Students and was nominated to the Board of Governors of Tel Aviv University. She is also on the 2021 Canadian Delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and is an Advisory Board Member of CJPAC (Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee).


In her corporate life, Yaffa has worked in legal affairs, international corporate expansion and due diligence for major financing at Hypertec, where she also established a work abroad internship program for Ethiopian students from Tel Aviv University’s Faculty of Engineering.  Since the beginning of 2021 she has taken a leave of absence to pursue speaking engagements and philanthropic projects. 

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