Tafesse was born and raised in Ethiopia. He used to work at state owned Wholesale distribution Corporation, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for about 16 years in different capacities. In his private life, he used to be a free-lance radio program producer and television newscaster.
Here in the US, Tafesse has worked at precious metals brokerage company, the Hilton Hotels, California State University Dominguez Hills, and at the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles for a total of another 14 years. Tafesse retired from the Housing Authority and currently works full time at the Fregenet Foundation on voluntary basis. Tafesse has a Masters degree (MBA) in international business.