Deputy Commissioner for Economic Development at the Department of Employment and Economic DevelopmentCompany: State of Minnesota
Role: DIB Presenter
Diversity Insights Breakfast:
Creating One Minnesota with Governor Tim Walz
Hamse Warfa is the Deputy Commissioner for Workforce Development at the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). Appointed in April 2019, Deputy Commissioner Warfa is the highest ranking African immigrant in Minnesota State government. In his role at DEED, Deputy Commissioner Warfa oversees Minnesota State’s Employment and Training programs, the Office of Economic Opportunity, Minnesota’s CareerForce resources and the Governor’s Workforce Development Board. Deputy Commissioner Warfa is Minnesota’s Authorized Representative with the U.S. Department of Labor for all Employment and Training Programs.
Warfa comes to DEED with more than 20 years of experience in economic development, community building, 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 also was a senior program officer at the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation leading the foundation’s domestic and international Childaren & Families 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 University. Hamse is a 2016 Bush Foundation Fellow, recipient of 2017 Minnesota Statewide Facing Race Award winner and Ashoka Global Fellow for social entrepreneur work. Hamse is the author “America Here I Come: A Somali Refugee’s Quest for Hope.”