Sagal Ahmed ’22 named 2021 Truman Scholar

A longtime advocate for the advancement of cross-regional learning and investor engagement in fisheries, inland waterways, and coastal zones, Ahmed is Carleton’s first Truman Scholar in 20 years and its fifth overall.

15 April 2021 Posted In:
Sagal Ahmed ’22

Sagal Ahmed ’22 is one of 62 students nationwide to be awarded a 2021 Harry S. Truman Scholarship. Ahmed was selected out of 845 candidates nominated by 328 colleges and universities across the nation—a record number of applicants—for the prestigious program. She is Carleton’s first Truman Scholar in 20 years and its fifth overall since the program was founded in 1977.

Sagal Ahmed ’22

Truman Scholars demonstrate outstanding leadership potential, a commitment to a career in government or the nonprofit sector, and academic excellence. Each Truman Scholar receives funding for graduate studies, leadership training, career counseling, and special internship and fellowship opportunities within the federal government. The scholars selected were chosen based on academic success and leadership accomplishments, as well as their likelihood of becoming public service leaders.

A member of TRIO, Ahmed is a first-generation Somali-American from a fishing community in coastal Somalia. She studies statistics and public policy at Carleton and has an independent research focus on illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing. Having previously informed policy development through her work with the Minnesota House of Representatives, Ahmed is keen on using data to explore and inform policies concerning marine management and fisheries at local and national levels.

Much of Ahmed’s work involves the advancement of cross-regional learning and investor engagement in fisheries, inland waterways, and coastal zones. She addresses the interconnected issues of maritime security, sustainable marine resource extraction, and marine conservation. Ahmed is currently a research assistant at Collaborating for Resilience, an active member of the Minnesota Young DFL, and is leading a research project to develop tools to monitor and track the movements of illegal vessels along the Somali coastline using remote sensing data.  

Established by Congress in 1975 as the living memorial to President Harry S. Truman and national monument to public service, the Truman Scholarship carries the legacy of the 33rd U.S. president by supporting and inspiring the next generation of public service leaders. When approached by a bipartisan group of admirers near the end of his life, President Truman embodied this commitment to the future of public service by asking Congress to create a living memorial devoted to this purpose, rather than a traditional brick-and-mortar monument. For more than 40 years, the Truman Foundation has fulfilled that mission: inspiring and supporting Americans from diverse backgrounds to public service.  

More information about the Truman Scholarship and Carleton’s application and endorsement process can be found by visiting the Office of Student Fellowships website.