By STEPHEN ELLIOTT
Thursday September 10, 2020
Mohamed Shukri-Hassan previously worked with TIRRC and Metro
Mohamed Shukri-Hassan PHOTO: PATRICK SHEEHAN/TIRRC
Mayor John Cooper has named Mohamed Shukri-Hassan to lead the Office of New Americans.
Cooper’s decision to downgrade the position at the start of his tenure in office caused consternation among immigrant advocacy groups, but he relented and said earlier this year that he would again appoint a full-time leader of the office created under former Mayor Karl Dean.Shukri-Hassan, who holds degrees from Tennessee State University and Lipscomb University, was born in Somalia and moved to Nashville in 2006. Since then, he has worked with or advised the Metro Public Health Department, New American Development Center, Nashville Entrepreneur Center, Metro Arts and the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition.
He recently chaired TIRRC’s multimillion-dollar capital campaign as it sought to build a new headquarters.
"Mohamed Shukri Hassan is an excellent choice for director of the Office of New Americans," says American Muslim Advisory Council executive director Sabina Mohyuddin, one of the advocates who criticized the earlier move to downgrade the position. "He has been a passionate advocate for the immigrant community in Nashville for the past 10 years. He understands the pulse of the community and has worked with multiple administrations. We are excited to have a strong voice for immigrants in the mayor's office."
Shukri-Hassan's role takes on new significance as the city seeks to combat the coronavirus pandemic that has hit immigrant and refugee communities especially hard and make sure traditionally hard-to-count populations are included in the ongoing census tally.
Lisa Sherman-Nikolaus, executive director of TIRRC, says she was “thrilled” by the appointment.
“As an established and proven leader, he will be an incredible resource to the administration and to the immigrant and refugee community in Davidson County,” Sherman-Nikolaus says. “A strong, well-resourced Office of New Americans is critical to ensure our communities’ voices are included in decisions and that the resources created help all of our families thrive.”