Regassa Oljirra, a health care policy analyst, works in the Health Care Eligibility and Access Division at the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Oljirra interprets, analyzes and explains the health care eligibility policy as needed. He helps health care eligibility workers throughout the state by answering policy questions. Oljirra also participates in several projects run by the Health Care Administration and represents the health care policy team.
Originally from Oromia, Ethiopia, where there are protests against the brutality by the Ethiopian government against the Oromo people, Oljirra attended elementary, secondary and post-secondary school. After a short career as an educator, Oljirra was offered an opportunity to study abroad. He accepted, and earned a master’s degree in political science and international studies from the University of Leipzig, Germany. He also earned a master’s degree in public policy and leadership from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.
When Oljirra isn’t at work, he said his family “is the top priority” in his life, taking “every possible opportunity to spend time with his wife and two daughters.” Oljirra also enjoys reading history books. “Of all the academic disciplines, history remains the most fascinating subject for me,” he said. “I studied it as a career before and I do it now as a passion.”