The Minnesota legislature has named Abdul Omari as a University of Minnesota Regent in action before its Easter break. The University Of Minnesota Board Of Regents is a 12-member board that governs the university. It is the sixth largest public university in the United States in terms of enrolment.
Omari is the son of prominent long-time Twin Cities resident and Kenyan-American businessman, Hassan Omari, who has since relocated to the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa. The senior Omari lived for decades in Minneapolis where he raised Abdul and his siblings. He moved back to his native Kenya after Abdul and his siblings had completed or moved on to college.
The state legislature elected Abdul and three others to six-year terms on the Board of Regents. Abdul’s extensive experience at the University provides him with a broad view: he was an undergraduate student at the school, when he participated in the Interdisciplinary center for the study of Global Change (ICGC) Global Issues Honors Consortium including a summer program in South Africa at University of the Western Cape; a master’s degree recipient at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs; and now a doctoral student. He is a Ph.D. student in the College of Education and Human Development.
His commitment to diversity and international education is expected to bring important perspectives to his work on the Board.
Mr. Omari in a conversation with Mshale said he is greatly humbled by the appointment “and thankful for the great faith the legislature has shown in me”. He said he looks forward to bringing his best abilities to the table as a member of the board of regents.
About Tom Gitaa Gitaa
Born and raised in Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa, Tom is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Mshale which has been reporting on the news and culture of African immigrants in the United States since 1995. He has a BA in Business from Metro State University and a Public Leadership Credential from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He was the original host of Talking Drum, the signature current affairs show on the African Broadcasting Network (ABN-America), which was available nationwide in the United States via the Dish Network satellite service. On the show, he interviewed Nobel laureates such as 2004 Nobel Peace prize winner, Professor Wangari Maathai, the first woman from Africa to win the peace prize and heads of states. Tom has served and chaired various boards including Global Minnesota (formerly Minnesota International Center), the sixth largest World Affairs Council in the United States. He has previously served as the first Black President of the Board of Directors at Books for Africa. He also serves on the boards of New Vision Foundation and the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium. He has previously served two terms on the board of the United Nations Association. An avid runner, he retired from running full marathons after turning 50 and now only focuses on training for half marathons.
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