The Potluck

Minnesota official Hamse Warfa appointed to Biden administration position

By: - January 10, 2022 4:21 pm

Minnesota economic official Hamse Warfa has been appointed to serve in President Joe Biden’s administration. Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

Minnesota economic official Hamse Warfa has been appointed to serve in President Joe Biden’s administration.

Warfa was appointed deputy commissioner of the state Department of Employment and Economic Development in 2019, making him the highest-ranking Somali-American official in the executive branch. Warfa will join the State Department as senior advisor in Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights, DEED announced Monday.

In a statement, Warfa thanked Biden for the appointment and said he was grateful to Gov. Tim Walz for his time with DEED. 

“As I prepare to represent all people of the United States, I am blessed by the colleagues, friends and family who supported my public service,” Warfa said. “My late father regularly offered a special blessing for me, ‘May you be useful to society,’ and I welcome continued support in my new role protecting and promoting democracy.”

During his tenure as DEED’s deputy commissioner, Warfa created a faster and more inclusive grant-making process, according to DEED, and advocated for a jobs bill during the pandemic that created more workforce training for adults.

“I am confident Hamse will serve the people of the United States with the same integrity, policy expertise, and collaborative leadership that he provided for the people of Minnesota,” Walz said in a statement.

Before joining DEED, Warfa co-founded BanQu, Inc., a company aimed at giving low-income people worldwide access to credit and banking services. He was also a 2016 Bush Fellow.

Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights in the State Department manages the department’s efforts to “prevent and counter threats to civilian security,” according to its website

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Rilyn Eischens
Rilyn Eischens

Rilyn Eischens is a former data reporter for the Minnesota Reformer. Rilyn was born and raised in Minnesota and has worked in newsrooms in the Twin Cities, Iowa, Texas and most recently Virginia, where she covered education for The Staunton News Leader. She's an alumna of the Dow Jones News Fund data journalism program and the Minnesota Daily. When Rilyn isn't in the newsroom, she likes to read, add to her plant collection and try new recipes.