Originally from Somalia, Yasin Samatar is currently a student of the John C. Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University in New Jersey.
At age 11, Samatar was exposed to the horrors and calamities of the Siad Barre regime in Somalia, which claimed the lives of millions of young Somali women and children. He was lucky to escape to a refugee camp in Kenya where he spent five years. He quickly familiarized himself with the international organizations and managed to learn English, volunteer with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, as well as being involved with youth groups. He started developing programs such as First Aid, Fire Fighting Skills and Environmental Gardening. He started volunteering with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees as a translator and later received a sponsorship under the UNHCR mandate for political asylum in the United States as a refugee.
Samatar is now completing his Masterís in Diplomacy with a concentration in international organizations and is currently interning with Under Secretary General Guineo at the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations. He is working on a research project on the president of the General Assembly of the United Nations before he starts his duty as a youth delegate to the General Assembly this fall. He has also been involved with UNESCO as an information officer and shares time with his fellow students putting together symposiums and seminars at his school.