Ilhan Omar is the newly elected, Minnesota House Representative for District 60B. She is the first Somali-American, Muslim woman in the nation to hold an office at this level. Ilhan is an experienced policy analyst, progressive DFL activist, coalition builder and humanitarian. Most recently, she served as the Director of Policy Initiatives at Women Organizing Women, where she empowered East African woman to take civic leadership roles in their community. Ilhan lives in the West Bank neighborhood of Minneapolis with her husband and their three children.
Ilhan fell in love with politics at the age of 14 when she acted as her grandfather's interpreter so he could participate in their local DFL caucus, in the District she how represents. Watching neighbors come together to advocate for change at the grassroots level inspired her to get involved in the democratic process. Committed to unity and justice, Ilhan is focused on advancing important issues, including raising the minimum wage to $15/hour, closing the opportunity gap, and fighting for environmental justice and racial equity.
After advocating as a student organizer at Edison High School, Ilhan worked as a community health educator at the University of Minnesota, Best Buy, at Minnesota Department of Education and was most recently a senior Policy Aide for Minneapolis City Council Member Andrew Johnson.
Ilhan holds degrees in Business Administration, Political Science and International Studies. She completed a Policy Fellowship at University Of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs. She has also served on numerous nonprofit boards, including the Legal Rights Center, YMCA, Confederation of Somali Community of MN, and the DFL State Central Committee. She is currently the Vice president of the DFL Feminist Caucus. Ilhan has received multiple accolades and awards, including the Rising Star Award from DFL Women's Hall of Fame and a Community Leadership Award from the Mshale Newspaper for outstanding leadership.