Ilhan Omar campaigning for Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine in 2016.

Ilhan Omar was born in Somalia in 1982. She came from a big family, the youngest of seven children. She was raised by her father and grandfather after her mother died when she was still young. In 1991, civil war broke out in Somalia, and she and her family were forced to flee to Kenya. Ilhan and her family spent four years in a refugee camp there before they immigrated to Minnesota.

Ilhan graduated with a degree in political science and international studies from North Dakota State University. Afterwards, she worked as a Community Nutrition Educator with the University of Minnesota. She started working in politics in 2012 as the Campaign Manager for Kari Dziedzic when she ran for the Minnesota State Senate. She went on to manage the election campaign of Andrew Johnson as he ran for a seat in the Minneapolis City Council.

In 2015 she became the Director of Policy of the Women Organising Women Network. This is an organisation that promotes women from East Africa becoming more involved in politics. In 2016 she decided to run for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. She was successful, and became the first Somali-American legislator in the United States.

She has since made her name known around the country, and the world, as a guest on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. During her interview she said she was “America’s hope and the President’s nightmare”.

-Michelle O’Brien
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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