Farhiya Mohamed, Executive Director, Founder
Farhiya fled war-torn Somalia as a young woman in 1994 and came to America determined to get an education. Overcoming the first of many challenges, she began her educational journey by first tackling her limited English skills by taking ESL classes at Seattle Central Community College, moving on to eventually earn her AA degree there. She then transferred to Evergreen State College where she graduated with a liberal arts degree. After graduating, she went right to work giving back to the Somali community at Southwest Youth and Family Services and in 2005 founded the Somali Family Safety Task Force.
But felt she could do more good with a Masters in Social Work. Working during the day and taking classes at night, Farhiya struggled, but eventually succeeded in earning her MSW from the University of Washington in 2014. She continues to give back to her community, not only through her job at SWYFS but also in a new organization that she has spearheaded called the Somali Family Safety Task Force.
Spending countless volunteer hours writing grants, organizing fundraisers and building this program while caring for her family and holding down a full time job, Farhiya demonstrates the kind of commitment, caring and courage that makes America a vibrant and compassionate country.
This bio was written by Tamara Power-Drutis and originally published by Crosscut.com.
Mohammad Ismail, Program Manager
Mohammad Ismail joined the Somali Family Safety Task Force in 2019. He grew up in the Northwest of Pakistan. He describes some parts of the Northwest of Pakistan, where the average young woman is up early to run errands for her family. She squats to flame the dung-cake fire with a puff to make morning tea and roast corn bread. What she calls a kitchen has no running water, gas, electricity or refrigerator. There were no newspapers, no books, no advertisements, no street names, no maps to read. Now, living in Seattle, his passion continues to be the part of community building.
Ahoua Koné, JD, MPH Clinical Assistant Professor at UW Global Health, Director at Health Alliance International (HAI), and Immigration Attorney:
Ahoua Koné is a Lawyer, a program Director with Health Alliance International, and a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Washington Department of Global Health. She is a native of Côte d’Ivoire. Ahoua’s work has been on health research and community empowerment projects both locally and internationally. She is an activist, always trying to help uplift voices that are neglected or oppressed. She is a founding member and past-president of the African Communities Network in King County and has served on several advisory boards and commissions including: the Washington State Commission on African-American Affairs, the Seattle Human Rights Commission, the Planning and Oversight Committee of Seattle Public Schools, the Search Committee for the Seattle Police Department Chief. Ahoua is also a co-founding member of the Somali Family Safety Task Force, an organization for which she continues to be committed to help thrive.
Ahoua was a recipient of the Seattle University School of Law 2013 Vanguard Leader of the
Year award and the Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow Award (2000).
Ahoua and her husband are parents of two young men. Ahoua is thankful for the support of her
extended family and friends and for the numerous opportunities presented to her to contribute
and give back to the community.
Saida Alim, MSW Mental Health Counselor at Valley Cities Behavioral Health Care:
Saido Jama works as a Procurement Agent for Boeing in Seattle, WA. Before this role, she was a Supply Chain Analyst. She is well-versed in contract development, vendor/supplier relationships, negotiations, production optimization, and logistics. Saido holds a Manufacturing
and Supply Chain Management degree from Western Washington.
Saido joined Somali Family Safety Task Force as a board member in 2019, she was captivated by their mission “to empower immigrant and refugee women and their families by providing
culturally appropriate services that embody the core values of our community”. As a fellow Somali and immigrant herself, she could relate to the difficulties of navigating in a new country and wished an organization like this existed when she was growing up. SFSTF brings an enormous value to the communities it serves and is for the community. A fun fact about Saido, she has toured on most of all major Boeing aircrafts.
Robin Tatsuda, MSW/ Executive Director Serving The Arc since 2012:
Robin specializes in outreach and advocacy for people with developmental disabilities such as autism, Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy. Robin believes that disability is a form of diversity and that disability rights are human rights. As many immigrant and refugee families have disabilities, Robin is excited to bring her expertise to the SFSTF. Fun fact, Robin and Farhiya, Executive Director of the SFSTF, went to graduate school together!
Mohamed Abdi, MPH:
Mohamed currently works with the City of Seattle’s department of Education. A
longtime Seattle resident and community advocate, Mohamed has worked extensively
with youth and families in schools and in social services agencies.
- Mohamed is one of the founding members of SFSTF and currently a board member who
has passionately dedicated his time and energy in serving the mission and vision of the
- He stayed course with sister Farhiya and SFSTF since then. What kept him going all this years was farhiya’s passion in serving her community through years of volunteering and after a I have had the distinct honor of working with sister Farhiya to support her efforts in providing services to the Somali community in areas of immigration, emergency needs, healthcare, and other support for families as they arise.
- Farhiya’s dedication to the Somali community is obvious through her strong work commitment
and passion that compels her to service in the name of humanity.
Gyanendra Subba, MBA /Lead Career Coach, SHA
Rania Mussa , Bachelor of Arts (B.A) History:
Rania Mussa works as a Solutions Architect designing technological solutions for clients to meet their ML and AI needs. After earning her bachelor’s from Whitman college, Rania worked in the education sector for a couple years. First with a non-profit that serves immigrant and refugee families to help close the achievement gap for k-12 students. She later joined a start-up focused on using technology to transform how students read for a deeper comprehension. Most recently, she worked with health researchers on innovative informatics driven projects to improve the health outcomes for patients. In her day-to-day she is driven by the desire to produce results and make an impact.
Rania was drawn to the Somali Family Safety Task Force because of its mission “to empower immigrant and refugee women and their families.” SFSTF is not only a community centered organization but at its core it is embedded in the very fabric of the community it serves as a community led, and community run organization. The organization is well positioned to address many of today’s challenges as they emerge and is exceedingly adaptive to communal needs.
Fathiya Abdi, MPH University of Washington
Seattle Public Schools (SPS) East African School-Family Partnerships Liaison