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Meet Sakawdin 


Equality Meets Opportunity

"He has played an integral part in approving grants that invested in nonprofit, educational, and  community groups through AmeriCorps with a program impact in Reading, Math & English Proficiency, Dropout Prevention, Mentoring, College Preparation and Success."

Father & Neighbor

Sakawdin has been district 196 parent and active community member for over a decade. He is a father of 6 wonderful children – 2 boys and 4 girls, who are district 196 students and graduates. 


He holds graduate degrees including Masters’ of Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota – Humphrey School of Public Affairs and Masters’ in Health Science. He has done his undergraduate at North Dakota State University (GO BISONS!).

Passion to Quality Public Education & Working Families

Sakawdin has been a huge supporter of quality public education and issues affecting working families. He was three times appointed by two different state governors to the Minnesota Commission on National and Community Service which coordinates volunteer learning service programs and administers the youth works grant program as well as the federal AmeriCorps program.  He has played an integral part in approving grants that invested in nonprofit, community, educational, and faith-based community groups through AmeriCorps with a program impact in Reading, Math & English Proficiency, Dropout Prevention, Mentoring, College Preparation, and Success.

Leadership Qualities & Experience You Can Trust 

Sakawdin is a longtime state employee and active union member. He has more than 17 years of organizational government and finance experience spanning multiple economic sectors and industries as well as all levels of government including county, federal, and state levels. He has been a key budget advisor in the administrations of several Minnesota State Government Departments. 

Mr. Mohamed has served as the top leader and manager of community nonprofits, public health, public policy, and government organizations. He provides an innovative and results driven strategic approach to each institution, accelerating systemic change, and improving outcomes and organizational performance. In each organization, he brought together people with diverse interests and backgrounds to improve the lives of community members and working people. 

He is a high-energy public policy professional who achieves results through positive relationships and collaboration with competing stakeholders. Knowledgeable in the legislative process, policy analysis, public finance, and budgets. He presently serves as Administrative Finance Manager, where he oversees a $50 million annual division budget with a staff of 250 public employees. He previously directed policies and procedures, development, and implementation for the agency’s financial services division. Prior to this, he was a Budget & Data Analyst at the Department of Health. He worked with the Department Policy Directors, Policy Division staff, External Affairs staff, and other program staff to promote federal and state policies. He has led many collaborative efforts with other state agencies to draft, prepare, present and implement cohesive legislative proposals that allow the state leadership to accomplish their policy goals.

Volunteer and Community Service Involvements

Other involvements to name a few included Minnesota Child Passenger Safety Advisory Committee, Mankato Envision 2020 planning committee, Merit Care Hospital-patient visitor, Fargo Public Schools Diversity Council,  VA Veterans Medical/Regional Center Fargo- escort and the Center for New Americans- refugee mentor.

Strong Commitment to Public Service, Safety and Health

Sakawdin started his professional career as a social worker and case manager at Blue Earth County.  He assisted and cared for people 65 years of age and older, who require the level of care provided in a nursing home but choose to live in their community.  He supported the elderly people across the county including rural areas to receive services to live in their homes and communities. He worked with public school nurses administering required medication regimens for immigrant students and led countywide refugee health. He built the capacity of the county to provide effective public health case management to local refugees. He revised and redesigned Blue-Earth & Nicollet County Immigrant Health Guide. 

He devoted most of his career to public service, he managed a variety of programs including Child Passenger Safety, Police Traffic Services, and Diversity Outreach. He coordinated the implementation of the state’s comprehensive highway safety plan. He was involved in the development and passage of child passenger safety and primary seat belt laws through Minnesota’s state legislation. He understands the importance of public health and safety as well as student wellbeing.

Equitable and Servant Leadership for All

In addition to his work with the state government, Sakawdin has long been a tireless community advocate and bridge builder. In 2000, he worked with others to start the first East African refugee and immigrant nonprofit in Fargo, North Dakota.  He was the President of a newly formed nonprofit which he co-founded as a creative and pragmatic way to assist new refugees resettling in the Fargo-Moorhead metro area. He collaborated with local public schools, social services, and other nonprofits on how we can collaborate on programs and services to help Somali refugees adjust and assimilate to their new American environment.  As many of his colleagues can attest, through their interactions, it becomes obvious that Sakawdin is highly educated and intelligent with a good grasp of American education and culture.  He is a hard worker, compassionate, eager to learn, and pleasant to work with.


Working with refugee immigrants coming from various parts of the world was not easy. Yet Sakawdin volunteered his time and resources to set up the community nonprofit with the mission to help low-income families and refugees to better understand the U.S. system and to access the resources to survive and be self-independent. His compassion to help others do better is reflected not only in his volunteer work but in his choices of education majors in economics, community health science, and public affairs practice during his undergraduate and graduate studies. He has direct experiences helping those who are disadvantaged at many different places of work (e.g., Case Manager, Blue Earth County Human Services, Health Dept. etc.). In short, Sakawdin’s strong commitment to public service and policy is demonstrated repeatedly in his education, work, and community service.


Awards and Recognitions

     Highlights of awards and recognition include the 2008-2009 Walter Mondale Fellowship, Humphrey Policy Fellows Award, 2008-2009 Minnesota Emerging Leaders Network, 2009-2010 Bush Leadership Fellows-Finalist, and outstanding achievement awards from various organizations as well as a nominee for President Obama’s White House Champion of Change Diaspora Award for his contributions in the African diaspora community.

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