Dr. Afyare Elmi is the executive director of the Heritage Institute for Policy Studies in Mogadishu. Prior to this, Elmi was an associate professor at Qatar University’s Gulf Studies Program. In addition to his book, “Understanding the Somalia conflagration: Identity, political Islam, and peace building published by the Pluto Press, he authored/co-authored more than 20 peer-reviewed publications and a dozen policy papers. 

Afyare Elmi has a BA in Public Administration from Ryerson University, an MA in Political Science from Brock University, a second MA in Education Policy from the University of Toronto, and an interdisciplinary Ph.D., specializing in political science from the University of Alberta. He has also provided commentaries and published opinion/editorial articles in some of the leading international media outlets.

Mursal Saney is the deputy director of Heritage Institute, responsible for overall operations with a focus on finance and administration. Saney leads external relations and resource mobilization for HIPS. Mr. Saney is also the chief organizer of Heritage Institute’s flagship program, the Annual Forum for Ideas (AFI). Before joining the institute, Saney held senior positions in the Federal Government Somalia where he was the chief protocol officer at the presidency, and a senior liaison official at the office of the prime minister. Mr. Saney also led a number of nonprofit organizations and managed several private sector entities over the past 30 years. 

Saney earned a Certificate of Mathematics and Statistics at Birkbeck College in London and a BSc (Hons) of Mathematics, Statistics and Management degree from Brunel University of London, UK.

Deka Abdullahi is the Finance and Human Resource Director. She has more than 12 years of experience in finance, operations and grants management in humanitarian aid, social development and research and monitoring and
evaluations projects. Deka has managed a portfolio of USD 20 million funded by several donors including ECHO, EC, UNICEF, SIDA, WFP, DEC, DFID, FAO, Bahrain Royal Charity and SSF. She served at Save the Children International (SCI), Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), and SACH Struggle for Change. She has a proven track record and expertise in financial management,
operational effectiveness and monitoring and evaluations.

She holds a master’s degree from Iqra University Islamabad Campus specialized in finance.

Hussein Mohamed is a communications specialist at Heritage Institute, responsible for the institute’s media and communications output. Hussein is a journalist with more than ten years of experience in journalism and communications. He specialises in content creation, digital marketing, social media, and storytelling. He has a proven track record of leading successful communication campaigns, including the dissemination of the Human Capital Development Strategy for Somalia and its multimedia presentation. Prior to joining Heritage, Hussein worked for the BBC World Service as a multimedia broadcast journalist.

Hussein is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in International Relations with a specialization in Security and Development at Plymouth University (UK) He also holds a BA in International Relations from Makerere University (Uganda) and a Diploma in Mass Communication and Media Studies from Nairobi Aviation College (Kenya).


Dr. Uweis Ali is a senior researcher and economist at the Heritage Institute. He was the project coordinator of the human capital development strategy in Somalia. He has a Ph.D. in economics, and his primary research areas of include: macroeconomics, human capital development, institutional quality, poverty reduction, education and environment. Previously, he was HR practitioner with numerous organizations in Malaysia. He has written numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals and policy papers and has delivered various presentations at national and international conferences.

Abdirizak Muhumed is a senior researcher at Heritage Institute. He led studies on federalism and impediments to good governance in Somalia. He also co-authored education and labor chapters for Somalia’s Human Capital Development studies. Prior to joining HIPS, Abdirizak worked as field researcher for ConflictNet, tutored second and third politics students at University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), South Africa and was also a fellow at Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER). 

Abdirizak holds Masters in Political Science, BA (Hons) in Creative Writing and African Literature, BA (Hons) in Political Science from Wits University. He also holds BA in Journalism and Media Studies from University of Johannesburg (UJ). His research interest include: modern political history of the Somali peninsula, comparative federalism, statebuilding, electoral models, political violence, identity politics and ethnic nationalism in the Horn of Africa.

Abdullahi Said is a researcher at HIPS with over six years of experience. His main areas of expertise include methodological design, quantitative and qualitative research, and scripting/programming survey questionnaires in high-tech devices, transcription and translation. Said also specializes in data management, analysis and monitoring and evaluation. Prior to joining HIPS, he worked at different institutions including universities and local research centers and traveled acorss Somalia in search of empirical data.

Said holds an MA in Conflict Resolution, Peacebuilding and Governance from City University and a BA in Public Administration from Mogadishu University.

Anisa Hashi is a communications and Graphic Designer at HIPS. Blending art and technology, Anisa specializes in branding and visual communications to create inspiring designs that make HIPS’ publications accessible and aesthetically pleasing. She holds a BA in Communication and Creative Design from Australia’s Premier Creative Media University SAE, Dubai campus.

Kayse Hussein is a researcher at HIPS and specializes in translation. With a Master’s degree in Public Health, he has more than 5 years of experience in teaching and lecturing at different universities. As a poet who has composed various poems on social and political issues and public sentiments towards Somali unity and nationhood, Kayse is also a literary and cultural historian.

Abdirizak Ibrahim is a researcher and assistant to the executive director. Prior to joining HIPS, Abdirizak worked as an intern at the institution, gained work experience and insights into the field of research. Abdirizak has supported the institute’s annual report on the “State of Somalia” and keeps a keen eye on current events. He has also contributed to the production of research projects and policy briefs by assisting HIPS’ senior researchers. Abdirizak holds a BA in Political Science from City University of Mogadishu.

Hawa Salad Mohamed is Finance Officer and banking and finance professional with one year experience, prior to HIPS Hawa worked as Accountant with Women and Child Support Organization (WOCSO) through partnership with DRC in Mogadishu. Possess over one year of assisting in budget preparation, assisting in staff fully understanding and complying with the standard financial procedures, assisting in filing, audit preparation and document tracing. Hawa has a Bachelor degree of BA department of Banking and Finance at CITY UNIVERSITY in Mogadishu

Ahmed Barre is a researcher at HIPS. He specializes in qualitative and quantitative data collection and transcription. Barre Holds a Bachelor degree in Sharia and Law from City university of Mogadishu. Prior to joining HIPS, Barre interned at the Supreme Court of Somalia and Banadir Regional Court. He also worked with local organization, funded by USAID with the aim of helping vulnerable groups to access justice. As legal researcher, Barre is now a candidate for the admission to the Somali Bar Association.

Muhudin Gutale is a Logistics & Administration Officer at HIPS. Closely working with researchers and the institute’s human resources and finance team, Muhudin, has more than six years of experience in logistics, procurement and administration. He holds a BA in Public Administration from Africa Graduate University, a Diploma in Accounting and Economics from Cambridge International College and advance Diploma in English from City University. 

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