As a former refugee from Somalia, Fatima Dirie was resettled to Salt Lake City with her family in 1997 while still in middle school. The family escaped war back home, first finding refuge in neighboring Kenya, then ultimately finding safety and an opportunity to rebuild in Utah. More than twenty years later, Fatima is not only empowering refugees in her local community, she is making an impact at the national and international level. Fatima works as the Policy Advisor for Refugees and New Americans in Salt Lake City Mayor Mendenhall’s administration at Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office. Previously she served for 4 years as the Community Refugee Liaison for Salt Lake City. She also coordinates the Utah Refugee Civic Group and serves on the Governors Refugee Advisory Board. Fatima is the Utah Delegate and board member of the Refugee Congress, a national nonprofit organization of refugee leaders from around the country.
She speaks five languages: Somali, Mai, Chimini, Swahili, and English. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, as well as traveling and meeting people from different cultural backgrounds. Fatima believes in leading by example and works hard to strengthen families and youth in her community. She is passionate about advocating for human rights, social justice, and empowering women and youth to be leaders.