Leadership in Somali Education and Development

June 8th and 9th, 2019


Location: Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY (90 minutes from New York City) 

Conference Goals: “Leadership in Somali Education and Development” is the first annual conference dedicated to Somali educational and economic development in the Horn of Africa. The conference, hosted by Marist College, will provide a unique opportunity for academics and practitioners to share perspectives on leadership, education, and development in Somalia and Somaliland. It will focus on the realities of on-the-ground development, and discuss potential solutions to longstanding development challenges. Many recent graduates from the Abaarso School in Somaliland and the SLPA will be in attendance. 

Conference Format and Topics: The conference will include expert speakers on important areas of leadership, education, and development. In addition to presentations, the conference will also emphasize small small interactive group sessions on key development issues. Workshops will be moderated by knowledgeable experts on  public health, education, technological developments in education, leadership, FGM, cultural development, and business opportunities. 

Notable Attendees and Presenters:

  • Edna Adan, Founder of Edna University Hospital
  • Mohamed Gouled, International Finance Corporation's Vice President of Risk and Finance
  • Mohamed Ibrahim, Somalia's former Minister of Posts and Telecommunication
  • Professor Ahmed Samatar, Dean of the Institute for Global Citizenship at Macalester College
  • Anne Dix, Director of USAID’s American Schools and Hospitals Abroad
  • Bashir Goth, Somaliland Representative to the United States
  • Jonathan Starr, Founder of Abaarso School, Co-Founder of Barwaaqo University

Conference Registration:  Conference registration is $50. Registration will open April 15th. On campus housing (single room suites with a shared bathroom) is available for conference attendees for Friday, June 7 and Saturday, June 8 for $60 per night. Please email James Snyder at if you have any questions.


Register Here