Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

DEED Names Assistant Commissioner for Economic Opportunity

Hamse Warfa will lead strategic, department-wide efforts to address the economic disparities that are disproportionately impacting communities of color and Indigenous populations


March 25, 2019

ST. PAUL - The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) today announced that Hamse Warfa has been named Assistant Commissioner for Economic Opportunity.

This new, external-facing role will work with stakeholder groups, DEED partners, and local officials across the state to promote DEED programs. The role will also serve as a way to listen and solicit feedback from under-represented communities across Minnesota on how DEED can best serve these populations. Additionally, the position will work internally with DEED’s senior leadership team to bring a lens of equity into the agency and champion department-specific objectives against priorities for economic equity.

This role will lead DEED’s Office of Economic Opportunity, a new office that reimagines and replaces the Office of Economic Equity and Opportunity that was created by the Dayton Administration in 2016.

“Minnesota continues to experience one of the worst economic racial disparities in the nation,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “We have a lot of work to do in this area. I’m committed to making this a priority at DEED which is why I appointed Hamse, a proven leader who will help us continue to move forward.”

Warfa comes to DEED with more than 20 years of experience in economic development, community building, philanthropy, public policy and entrepreneurship. He most recently was co-founder and executive vice president at BanQu Inc., an economic identity platform company selected for an Innovation Award by the Obama Administration and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 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 statewide grant operations.

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 and recipient of 2017 Minnesota Statewide Facing Race Award winner.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and its services, visit the DEED website or follow DEED on Twitter.


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