Board of Education, Director
Hussein Samatar is the Founder and Executive Director of the African Development Center, an entrepreneurial nonprofit organization that works within the African communities in Minnesota to start and sustain businesses, build wealth, and promote community reinvestment. In this capacity, he has created several culturally-targeted alternative finance products, and is frequently engaged to address financial, governmental, and other community institutions on the topic of building wealth in emerging markets. Mr. Samatar regularly participates in broader conversations that address existing and emerging economic development issues that impact new American communities. He also provides timely analysis on entrepreneurship and small business development in immigrant communities.
Prior to his leadership with the African Development Center, Mr. Samatar worked as a commercial banker with Wells Fargo and Norwest Banks. He comes to ADC with extensive experience in banking institutions, as well as a deep regard for community economic development. In 2009, he was recognized for his leadership with ADC and was selected by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal as one of the top minority corporate executives of the year.
Mr. Samatar serves on the boards of several development and civic organizations, including the Minneapolis Foundation, CommonBond Communities, and the Dean’s Advisory Board of the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota.
He holds an M.B.A. from St. Thomas University and is fluent in five languages. He was selected as a Humphrey Institute Policy Fellow in 2003-2004 and a German Marshall Memorial Fellow in 2007.
A Somali native, Hussein came to Minnesota in 1994. His wife, Ubah, is an educational assistant in the Saint Paul city schools. They are the parents of three children and live in the Phillips neighborhood in south Minneapolis.