Sagal Ali is a Somali-American community activist that has worked to address the needs of communities in poverty in the United States and in developing countries. Ms. Ali currently serves as a Program Lead with the Ready to Read Corps of Columbus Metropolitan Library where she works to educate low-income families on how to prepare their children for school and a better future. Previously, she interned with the United Nations and worked in the global health sector as a consultant on health and poverty reduction projects. She returned to her hometown, Columbus, Ohio, where she taught English to refugee students and subsequently became involved in early literacy promotion with Columbus Metropolitan Library to address intergenerational poverty in the community. Columbus is home to the second largest Somali refugee population in the United States.
Ms. Ali emmigrated from Somalia at an early age and her awareness of the issues facing refugee communities sparked her interest in poverty reduction with a focus on the intersection between literacy, health and human rights. Ms. Ali is a former Amnesty International Human Rights Scholar and has worked with the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program and the University of Michigan Medical School on refugee health research. She is a co-founder of End Famine, which supports famine relief efforts in the Horn of Africa and is co-founder of Iftiin, the Somali Forum for Leadership and Development, which connects Somali diaspora students and professionals to mobilize and effect change within their respective communities. Ms. Ali holds a Bachelor's degree in English from The Ohio State University and a Masters in Health Policy and Management with a concentration in Global Health from Columbia University.