The Somali Centre for Social and Economic Empowerment (CSEE) is a registered not-for-profit, autonomous research and advocacy Think Tank based in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Civic engagement & advocacy

To relentlessly work on behalf of vulnerable groups, advocating for their enfranchisement within Somalia

Research & Outreach

To conduct high quality research and policy analysis on the issues that face Somalia and the Somali people

Capacity building

To contribute to the social and economic advancement of the Somali people through education/training and by shedding light on the obstacles which inhibit their development and growth

Consultancy Services

To offer unique and high quality services to our clients

Our Vision

To become a leading Centre of research on social and economic empowerment in Somalia

Our Mission

To be a voice for the voiceless, whilst fostering dialogue, civic engagement and research-informed policies through rigorous and high quality research and policy analysis

CSEE inaugural meeting


The highest governing body of CSEE is the General Assembly (GA), which consists of its members. As the ultimate decision-making entity of CSEE, the GA decides the strategic objectives as well as overall directions of the organization.

The GA chooses a five person Executive Council (EC), who in turn elects an Executive Director (ED). The EC ensures that the objectives, programmes and activities decided by the GA are effectively implemented. The EC also ensures that resources are utilised optimally and appropriately. The ED is responsible for the Centre’s day to day activities.

CSEE has also a Board of Advisors (BA), whose expertise and experience is crucial for the Centre’s long-term viability.

CSEE Governance Structure

Staff Profiles

Mr Abdirisak Adam, BA

Mr Abdirisak Adam, BA

Executive Director & Head of Capacity Building

Mr Adam holds a degree in Social Sciences from the University of Somalia. He has over 20 years of experience as a teacher, educator and community organiser. He has successfully designed various teaching and capacity building programmes and workshops. Mr Adam’s research interests include social empowerment, informal and formal education.

Ms Layla Abdi, BS, MSW, LICSW

Ms Layla Abdi, BS, MSW, LICSW

Deputy Director & Head of Civic Engagement and Advocacy

Ms. Abdi is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) by the State of Minnesota Board of Social Work. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Psychology from Metropolitan State University and a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Minnesota. She has over 17 years of experience in the social services field, dealing with diverse individuals requiring advanced assessment and treatment planning, diagnosis and advocacy. Ms. Abdi has experience and expertise in working with multicultural populations.  She is well-versed in the areas of mental/chemical health service needs. She has been a guest lecturer in various Universities, Colleges and Community Centres and has made numerous media appearances, including giving interviews to Somali TV and the Voice of America. Ms. Abdi’s research interests include social empowerment, mental health, chemical health, domestic violence, multicultural counselling, social exclusion, gender biases, stigma and cultural attitudes towards mental health.

Ms. Ayni Muhiadin, BSc (hons)

Ms. Ayni Muhiadin, BSc (hons)

Research Assistant and Secretary

Ms. Muhiadin is a Medical Laboratory Technician by profession. She has over the past years completed various seminars and workshops on HIV awareness, prevention and caring, FGM, women empowerment through increased participation in social, economic and political activities, and good governance and leadership. She is interested in women’s rights and FGM.

Ms. Shams Sheikh, BSc (hons)

Ms. Shams Sheikh, BSc (hons)

Social Affairs Officer

Ms. Sheikh is a qualified Nurse and Midwife. She is a graduate of Mogadishu University and Shifa Health Science University. She has over 15 years of health-related experience, including stints at Keysaney and Madina Hospitals in Mogadishu and SAACID/ Oxfam – Novib and the UNDP. Currently, she works as a CMAM IYCF Officer with Save the Children International. Ms. Sheikh has facilitated numerous CMAM, IYCF, IMAM, CTC, and FGM training across Somalia. She is the Centre’s resource person in relation to health and humanitarian issues in complex and protracted environments.

Mr. Abdiasis Ibrahim, BA

Mr. Abdiasis Ibrahim, BA

Centre Coordinator & Head of Consultancy Services

Mr. Ibrahim holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the Somali National University’s College of Education (Lafoole). He is an experienced educator and administrator, having taught at Barbe and Al-Imra Secondary Schools in Mogadishu. He served as the Principal of Amoud Junior and Senior High School in Mogadishu for a period of 6 years. Currently, he is the Rector of Al-Imra International University in Mogadishu. Mr Ibrahim is an avid reader and community organiser. He has facilitated numerous workshops and training programmes. He is interested in formal and informal education and social issues.

Mr. Khalif Hassan, BA, MA

Mr. Khalif Hassan, BA, MA

Senior Policy Analyst & Head of Programmes

Mr. Hassan, a Fulbright and a William H. Thompson Scholar, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Nebraska Omaha in the US. He also holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from Aberystwyth University, UK. He is an experienced policy analyst, having had stints at the UNHCR, Care International and the Omaha Public Schools and is currently involved in a collaborative effort at finding durable solutions for refugees in Sub-Saharan Africa. His research interests include good governance, policies, resilience, conflict resolution and peacebuilding.

Dr Abdilahi Ali, BSc, MSc, PhD

Dr Abdilahi Ali, BSc, MSc, PhD

Senior Research Associate & Head of Research and Outreach

Dr Ali is an experienced economist, academic and researcher. He holds an MSc with distinction and a PhD in Economics from the University of Manchester, UK. He is currently a Lecturer in Economics at Aberystwyth Business School where he is also Postgraduate Director for Accounting, Finance and Economics. Dr Ali is an External Research Associate at the University of Manchester’s Global Development Institute and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He is also a Research Associate at the China and Emerging Economies Centre (Northampton Business School). Dr Ali has in the past worked as a professional economist and consultant. His research has been published and presented in various international conferences. He is a member of the Royal Economic Society and African Finance and Economic Association. In 2016, he was chosen to serve as a member of the Scientific Board of the International Congress of Management Economy and Policy held in Istanbul, Turkey.

Mr Abdulkariim Sheekh, FdA, ACMI

Mr Abdulkariim Sheekh, FdA, ACMI

Public Relations Officer

Mr Sheekh is an Associate of the UK Chartered Management Institute. He holds a diploma in Business studies from University Centre at Blackburn College, UK. Over the past 10 years, he has worked in both the voluntary sector as well as the private sector as an educator and translator/interpreter (Somali, English, and Arabic). He has been involved in various community projects in Somalia. For instance, he has helped build Abu Habeeba Orphanage in the outskirts of Mogadishu and he sits in its board of directors.