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Muslim Makes History as First Somali-American Presidential Appointee

Hamse Warfa joined President’s Joe Biden administration this week, making history as the first Somali American presidential appointee in US history.

“My acceptance of this role is in direct response to President Biden’s call to action to protect and promote democracy,” Warfa told ABC News.

Warfa is the Deputy Commissioner for Workforce Development at the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

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By the end of January, he will take the role as a senior adviser to the State Department on civilian security, democracy and human rights. In that role, he will help develop strategies for protecting and promoting democracy at home and abroad.

Warfa said in a tweet that he is “excited and so ready to get to work along with incredible public servants in the Biden-Harris administration.”

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Who Is Hamse Warfa?

Warfa was born in Mogadishu, Somalia. His family fled the Somali civil war and moved to neighboring Kenya, where they lived in refugee camps. He later relocated to the US.

Appointed in April 2019, Deputy Commissioner Warfa is the highest ranking African immigrant in Minnesota State government.

During his time in Minnesota government, he “successfully advocated for the largest job bill in state history, supplying workforce training to youth and adults,” according to his department.

With this development, Warfa has now joined a list of many Somalian American Muslims who have achieved political success.

Ilhan Omar made history in 2018 when she became the first Somali-American elected to the US Congress.

Somali American Muslim Deqa Dhalac also made history in December, 2021 after being elected as the mayor of Maine’s fourth largest city, three years after being elected to the city council.