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Congresswoman-elect Ilhan Omar picks leadership team


Friday, December 21, 2018
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Congresswoman-elect Ilhan Omar. Photo: Courtesy

Congresswoman-elect Ilhan Omar on Thursday announced her five-person leadership team for her Washington office and Minnesota District office. Last month’s midterms saw Omar become the first black person born in Africa to be elected to the US Congress.

Omar’s picks included that of chief of staff, local district office director, local deputy district director, legislative director and a communications director that will double up as a strategist.

Minnesota native Connor McNutt will serve as Omar’s chief of staff. McNutt was her legislative assistant at the Minnesota House of Representatives and has experience working for the congresswoman-elect. A notable difference for both of them in their new roles will be the fact that, while at the Minnesota House, Omar’s party was in the minority during her term. At the US House, the Democrats took over the reins in convincing fashion last month.

Omar’s congressional campaign treasurer, K. Davis Senseman, will be her local district office director. Senseman was in the past the supervisor of the Business Law Clinic at Mitchell Hamline School. He will be assisted by Ali Isse who will serve as deputy district director. Isse has served critical roles in Omar’s two successful campaigns as the field organizer for her Minnesota House race and was the outreach director for the historic congressional campaign.

Kelly Misselwitz, currently the vice president of government at US Telecom was announced as the legislative director. Misselwitz will now have another go at serving a history-making legislator. She previously worked for U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen  of New Hampshire as a legislative assistant. Shaheen, the current senior US Senator for New Hampshire was that state’s first female US senator and prior to that, the state’s first female governor.

The Center for American Progress’s Jeremy Slevin will serve as both communications director and strategist for Omar. Slevin’s current job at the Center for American progress is that of Director of Antipoverty Advocacy. He has experience with the Fifth District as he was Keith Ellison’s communications director. Omar is succeeding Ellison who is now Minnesota’s Attorney General-elect.

“I am excited about the talented team we’ve put together,” said Omar “I believe in co-governance and we are all committed to working closely with our constituents in the Fifth District to advance the progressive agenda on which I was elected.”

Omar will be sworn in with the rest of the 116th Congress on January 3.

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About Tom Gitaa

Tom is the President and Publisher of Mshale and chair of the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium (MMMC). As Mshale founder, he did a lot of the reporting during the humble beginnings of the newspaper. While he still does the occasional reporting, he now concentrates on the publishing side of the news operation.Tom was also 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 DishNetwork 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 such as the president ofВ  The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh at State House, Banjul. Tom has previously served in the board of directors of Global Minnesota, the sixth largest World Affairs Council in the United States. He has also previously served as President of the Board of Directors of Books for Africa, the largest shipper of donated books to Africa and. He sits on the board of the United Nations Association.

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