Dr. Tesfaye received his bachelor's and M.P.A degrees from California State University, Fresno. He earned his Ph.D degree in Political Science from the Center for Politics and Economics, Claremont Graduate University in 1996. He began teaching in 1997 California State University, Fresno in economics and political science.
Dr. Tesfaye is author of The Political Economy of the Nile Basin Regime in the Twentieth Century (NY: Edwin Mellen, 2009) and Political Power and Ethnic Federalism: the Struggle for Democracy in Ethiopia (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2002). He has conducted research in India (2006), Venezuela (2005), and in the Nile River Basin (2004).
He was a 2010-2011 Fulbright Scholar at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, and has also taught at Universidad De Sao Jose, Macau, S.A.R. Peoples Republic of China (summer 2011). Tesfaye is also the author of "The Ethiopian Revolution, 1974-77" in International Encyclopedia of Protest and Revolution, 1500 to Present (Immanuel Ness, ed., Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 2009).
He has published articles in the Beijing Review's China Africa Journal, International Journal of Ethiopian Studies, and in (UCLA's) Globalization Africa Research Center. He also contributes articles on African affairs to Znet and Pambazuka News.