Hamse Warfa

SNF Agora Visiting Fellow, AY 23-24

Hamse Warfa recently served as a Senior Adviser in the U.S. State Department supporting the work of the Office of the Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights. Previously, he was the Deputy Commissioner at Minnesota State government’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).  Appointed in 2019, Deputy Commissioner Warfa was the highest-ranking African immigrant in the Minnesota government.  In his role at DEED, Deputy Commissioner Warfa oversaw Minnesota State’s Employment and Training programs, the Office of Economic Opportunity, Minnesota’s 50 workforce centers, Minnesota Governor’s Workforce Development Board and Immigrant and Refugee Affairs office.   Warfa came to DEED with more than 20 years of experience in economic development, community building, peacebuilding, philanthropy, public policy and entrepreneurship.  He is the co-founder and the executive vice president at BanQu Inc., an economic identity software company selected for an Innovation Award by the Obama Administration and MIT.  Warfa also founded Tayo Consulting Group, which assists philanthropic clients refine their goals and identify program activities to fund.  He was a senior program officer at the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation leading the foundation’s domestic and international grantmaking programs.  Warfa holds a Masters in Organizational Management and Leadership from Springfield College in Massachusetts, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from San Diego State University. Warfa is a 2016 Bush Foundation Fellow, recipient of 2017 Minnesota Statewide Facing Race Award winner and Ashoka Global Fellow for his social entrepreneurship work. Warfa is the author of “America Here I Come: A Somali Refugee’s Quest for Hope.”