Mukhtar M. Ibrahim is the founder, editor and executive director of Sahan Journal, a nonprofit news organization dedicated to chronicling the struggles, successes and transformations of Minnesota’s immigrant and refugee communities.
He previously worked as a staff writer for the Star Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio News. He has also written for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Al Jazeera English, BuzzFeed News and the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.
Mukhtar is among the first of his generation's professional, accomplished journalists of Somali descent in Minnesota and in the country. His leadership has been recognized with many awards and accomplishments and is sought-after speaker and panelist at leading institutions, organizations and conferences around the United States.
He was a recipient of the prestigious leadership fellowship from the St. Paul-based Bush Foundation, a "Great Immigrant" award from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Twin Cities Business Magazine’s 100 People to Know (2019), Islamic Resource Group's "Building Bridges Award in Media" (2019), and "Above the Fold" award, which honors alumni of the University of Minnesota Hubbard School of Journalism & Mass Communication under the age of 40 who have made exceptional contributions to their fields.
Mukhtar's personal and professional distinction are accompanied by his large social media following, his ambition and strategic talents, his extremely wide and diverse networks and his standing as a thought leader in journalism.
Mukhtar is a reporter and writer with fine instincts and an eye for descriptive detail. He has a knack for finding unique stories by mining digital sources of information and digging deeply. His deep understanding of the rhythms of digital journalism and all that entails — writing stories that can find a broad readership online, engaging with audience and developing sources online — makes him a digital-savvy journalist who can tell stories with sophistication and depth.
One of his stories had originated from a Reddit post and ended up being tweeted by J.K. Rowling!
A really beautiful story. I hope they find each other. https://t.co/DcW5x1OiCM— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) November 22, 2018
In 2018, the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists named Mukhtar's Twitter account the best social media account in Minnesota. Judges said: "Mukhtar Ibrahim showcases what a journalist’s Twitter account should be. Fantastic. Strong, consistent content and impressive engagement.”
He earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota and a graduate degree in investigative and data journalism from Columbia University.
Born in Somalia, Mukhtar spent his childhood in Ethiopia and Kenya and has lived his adult life in Minnesota. He lives in St. Paul with his wife and three daughters.