Ilhan Omar

Career:U.S. House of Representatives, 2019-present
Minnesota House of Representatives, 2017-present
Education:B.A. and B.S., North Dakota State University

Ilhan Omar assumed office as U.S. representative for Minnesota's 5th Congressional District on Jan. 3, 2019. Omar, a Somali American, and Rashida Tlaib, U.S. representative for Michigan's 13th Congressional District and a Palestinian American, are the first Muslim women elected to Congress. Omar is the first Somali-American legislator elected to office in the United States.

Omar was born in 1982 in Mogadishu, Somalia and was raised in Baydhabo, Somalia. In 1991, she and her family fled the civil war in Somalia, spending four years in a refugee camp in Kenya. In 1995, they immigrated to the United States, eventually settling in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1997. She received a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a Bachelor of Science in international studies from North Dakota State University. She was a policy fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Omar worked as a community nutrition educator at the University of Minnesota from 2006 to 2009 and as a child nutrition outreach coordinator at the Minnesota Department of Education from 2012 to 2013. In 2012, she served as campaign manager for Kari Dziedzic's reelection campaign for the Minnesota State Senate. In 2013, she managed Andrew Johnson's campaign for Minneapolis City Council, then served as his senior policy aide from 2013 to 2015. Since September 2015, she has been the director of policy & initiatives for the Women Organizing Women Network.

For information on Omar's policy subject areas, committee appointments and sponsored/co-sponsored legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, please visit her profile on