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DEED Appoints Abdiwahab Mohamed Temporary Assistant Commissioner for Immigrant and Refugee Affairs

Commissioner Grove Thanks Outgoing Assistant Commissioner Anisa Hajimumin for Years of Service

8/5/2022 11:08:44 AM

Abdiwahab-headshot

St. Paul – Today, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced Abdiwahab Mohamed has been appointed temporary Assistant Commissioner for Immigrant and Refugee Affairs. Mohamed is currently DEED’s Regional Trade Manager for Africa, Middle East & India in the Minnesota Trade Office. He will begin his new role September 1.

Mohamed will fill the role of departing Assistant Commissioner Anisa Hajimumin, who started and led Minnesota’s Office of New Americans (ONA) for two years. Funded through private grant funding, the ONA convenes interagency work around immigrant and refugee policy priorities and works with new immigrants in Minnesota to help them maximize their potential in the economy.

“I’m grateful to Abdiwahab for stepping into the assistant commissioner role so there’s no interruption in our services to immigrants and refugees – services that are more important now than ever before,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “I’m also grateful to Anisa for her extraordinary efforts to serve immigrants and refugees, particularly through the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Her extraordinary legacy will live on through our temporary Assistant Commissioner Mohamed and ongoing work of the Office of New Americans.”

“For the past five years, I have had the honor of working with the larger Minnesota business community at the Trade Office. Shifting into this role at DEED will allow me to focus on expanding access and support for immigrants and refugees in communities across the state,” said Abdiwahab Mohamed. “I am excited to continue the critical work underway and look forward to working with the community and leaders across state government to provide ongoing support and resources.”

“It has been an honor to lead this interagency office,” said Assistant Commissioner Anisa Hajimumin. “Immigrants and refugees have long been a source of strength for Minnesota, both culturally and economically. We are blessed with many immigrant communities in our state – and know they face unique challenges navigating new lives in Minnesota. I’m grateful to the Administration for this opportunity to serve and will be cheering on the continuation of these efforts into the future!”

Most recently, the ONA has been deeply involved in helping Afghan refugees transition to life in Minnesota and find opportunities for their families. Additionally, the office has expanded its commitment to immigrants and refugees over the last two years by launching programs such as the Internationally-trained Health Care Workers to help health care workers land strong roles in Minnesota’s health care sector.

Last legislative session, DEED worked to secure state funding to extend the ONA into future years – beyond the end of the grant funding, which concludes in July 2023. That commitment will continue in the 2023 legislative session, and the Walz-Flanagan Administration is committed to hiring a full-time Assistant Commissioner in a second term.

Minnesota’s economy is powered by workers, and immigrants and refugees are critical to the state. In the last ten years Minnesota has added 81,400 New American workers. As part of DEED’s Summer of Jobs tour, there will be an event later in August focused on immigrants and refugees and their contributions and value to Minnesota’s economy and communities. More event information coming soon.

Assistant Commissioner Hajimumin and her family have decided to move to Pennsylvania, and her time in state government will conclude at the end of August.

Temporary Assistant Commissioner Mohamed will serve through the end of Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan’s first term.

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