Wed, Jan 12, 2022 6:47 AM
By Mary Stroka / The Center Square contributor, The Center Square
(The Center Square) – Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Deputy Commissioner Hamse Warfa will join the Biden Administration, the department announced Monday.
Warfa will serve as senior advisor, Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights in the Department of State, the news release said. The Walz-Flanagan administration appointed him DEED Deputy Commissioner in 2019 as the highest ranking Somali American official in the executive branch of government. Warfa will join the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, Sahan Journal reported.
“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,” Gov. Tim Walz said in the release. “Hamse and his team at DEED advocated for the economic well-being of all Minnesotans during the pandemic and focused on ensuring workers and businesses had the resources and training to survive and thrive. I am grateful for Hamse’s service to our state and his commitment to building an equitable economy that works for everyone.”
DEED Commissioner Steve Grove praised Warfa’s leadership in the release.
“He brought true passion to his work, and I know he’ll bring that same heart to Washington as he fights for democracy around the world,” Grove said.
Warfa advocated for the largest job bill in Minnesota history, which increased workforce training programs to support African immigrants, increase Black workers in tech and free online training for Minnesota adults during the COVID-19 pandemic, the release said.
“Warfa implemented a faster, more transparent, and inclusive grant making process to help a greater diversity of Minnesota communities address their workforce needs,” the release said. “As co-chair of the Governor’s committee on the safety, health and well-being of agricultural and food processing workers, Warfa championed workers to be vaccinated and recommended safer housing and workforce policies for migrant workers.”
Warfa thanked Biden, Walz, Grove and supporters in the release.
“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,” he said.
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Director of Communications Jen Gates told The Center Square in a texted statement Tuesday that Jan. 17 is Warfa’s last day and there was no replacement to announce.
In fiscal year 2021, Warfa’s salary was $151,860, according to state records.