Mohamed Abdirizak

A life of service

H.E. Mohamed Abdirizak has been a tireless campaigner for unity and stability in Somalia for the past two decades both within and outside of government. As the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Federal Republic of Somalia, H.E. Mohamed Abdirizak played a pivotal role in articulating Somalia’s foreign policy including agreements on the Somali Security Transition Plan, that would pave the way for Somalia to take full control for its security and ending the mandate of Operation Atlanta, to signal the end of piracy off the coast of Somalia and provide the space for Somalia to develop its own maritime capabilities in protecting Somalia’s blue economy. 


Prior to his appointment as Foreign Minister, H.E. Mohamed Abdirizak was the Managing Director of the Platform for Political Dialogue and Accommodation in Somalia, an initiative designed to provide a platform for engagement between Somali leaders and the public to help formulate options for addressing the outstanding constitutional questions to finalizing Somalia’s federal system. Prior to this, H.E. Mohamed Abdirizak served as a Senior Advisor to the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia on Democratization and Elections, responsible for the finalization of political negotiations between the Federal and Federal Member State leaders on holding a historic one-person-one-vote election and the required legislations. 

H.E. Mohamed Abdirizak served as country director for the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Nairobi, Kenya, from 2010 to 2014, leading a team of international and national experts that contributed to the efforts that ended the transitional period in Somalia. During his tenure at NDI, he worked vigorously to support and promote the development and adoption of Somalia’s provisional constitution. After serving as a political advisor to the special representative of the Secretary-General at the U.N. Political Office for Somalia from 2008 to 2010.

H.E. Mohamed Abdirizak’s first tenure in government as an advisor and chief of staff to the President of Somalia in 2007, playing an active role in the Djibouti peace process where an agreement was signed in August 2008 that paved the way for the establishment of the Transitional Federal Government. Since then he has been involved in international initiatives to re-establish the government and promote peace and security in Somalia. He has shown great leadership in facilitating discussions and negotiations of the Joint Security Committee and the High-Level Committee to promote peace and security for Somalia. 

He is highly regarded among his Somali colleagues as well as the diplomatic community working in Somalia for his leadership and ability to forge ties between various political and regional actors and opposition members in the country and the diaspora.

Before working with the Transitional Federal Government and UNPOS, Mr. Abdirizak worked with private sector firms in the U.S. and with international organizations including the U.N. Development Programme in Somalia and the World Bank.

Mr. Abdirizak holds a master’s degree in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). 


A Life of Service

Born into a family of civil servants in Mogadishu in 1968 during the golden era of the founding fathers of the Somali Republic. Mohamed Abdirizak was instilled in the notion that to those in privilege lies greater responsibility to serve one’s nation.  

This pledge to server has been the driving ethos that has seen a young man from Mogadishu begin adult life joining the Somali National Army, travelling abroad to gain knowledge only to see our nation brought to its knees and returning to serve once again in the rebuilding of a more democratic and hopeful Somalia in the past two decades.

As the director for the National Democratic Institute (NDI), the special representative of the secretary general at the U.N. Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) or as Minister of Foreign Affairs .