Ex-Kenyan Refugee Appointed to Biden Adminstration

  • Minnesota official and former Kenyan refugee Hamse Warfa posing for a photo.
    Minnesota official and former Kenyan refugee Hamse Warfa posing for a photo.
    Courtesy
  • Former Kenyan refugee Hamse Warfa has been appointed to serve in US President Joe Biden’s administration. 

    Warfa will join the U.S State Department as a senior advisor in Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights. 

    In a statement, Warfa lauded the Biden administration for exhibiting their confidence in appointing him to serve Americans.

    President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken at the White House in 2013.
    President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken at the White House in 2013.
    Courtesy WSJ

    "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,” 

    “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 noted.

    The former refugee once worked at the state Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) as its deputy commissioner. During his tenure, he advocated for jobs bill in order to ease the economic woes brought about by the pandemic.

    “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,” Minnesota's Governor Tim Walz lauded him.

    Prior to joining DEED, he co-founded BanQu Inc- a company dedicated to offering low-income earners global access to credit and banking services. 

    During a previous interview with Forbes, Warfa noted how his time at the Dadaab refugee camp influenced his vision in coming up with BanQu. He and his family had stayed at the camp in the mid 1990s for three years before moving to the US and settling in Minnesota. 

    "We created BanQu for the world’s poor, refugees and stateless people so they can live their lives like the rest of us: cumulatively. Let’s say you are in Kenya’s Dadaab Refugee Camp, where my family was, and you have to move to Uganda.

    "BanQu helps you relocate as seamlessly as possible, bringing your relationships with you… BanQu is mobile and cloud-based and, importantly, you own your data," he told Forbes

    Hamse Warfa (left) speaks to the crowd while being interviewed by journalist Sagal Abdirahman on May 7, 2015, at a book signing event in Minneapolis.
    Hamse Warfa (left) speaks to the crowd while being interviewed by journalist Sagal Abdirahman on May 7, 2015, at a book signing event in Minneapolis.
    Courtesy