Born in Aksum, in the state of Tigray, Selome grew up with parents who were both teachers. This contributed to her outspoken and outgoing personality. After completing her primary and secondary education in Addis Ababa, she went to Addis Ababa University during the Dergue regime. But she didn’t finish her studies. Instead, she went to Eastern Europe and enrolled at the University of Belorussia, in the then-Soviet Union. After her third year, Selome dropped out and went first to West Germany, and then South Hadley, Massachusetts where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations.