Sagal Abshir

Sagal Abshir

TrustWorks Associate

Sagal is a lawyer, writer and researcher with twenty years of experience across private and public sectors in the US and Africa, and is currently working on political and governance issues in the Horn of Africa. She has extensive experience working with multilateral agencies, NGOs and think-tanks. She has undertaken research on the linkages between climate change and conflict in the Horn of Africa, on the political economy of taxation in Somalia, and on closing the gap between peacebuilding frameworks in theory and on the ground. From 2016-2018, Sagal was advising the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General to Somalia on the ‘politics of security’, helping Somali political actors negotiate and develop a political agreement on a national security architecture.

Previously, Sagal held the position of Senior Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, assisting the administration to complete a series of constitutional and security-related tasks in order to permit the country to move to permanent government. Sagal previously worked at Goldman Sachs & Co., New York, as a Vice President of Global Compliance, responsible for developing policies, communications programs and principles-based trainings to ensure compliance with the securities laws, anti-money laundering and anti-bribery regulations.  In addition, she has managed a portfolio of investment bank clients at a venture-backed legal services firm, practiced as an attorney in a US corporate law firm, and worked as an auditor with Price Waterhouse in Kenya. 

She holds a law degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. 

Sagal is a non-resident Fellow at the Center on International Cooperation at New York University. She is also a coach on Harvard Kennedy School executive education programs on adaptive leadership.

Regional Specialization


Thematic Specialization

Governance in fragile states; security sector reform; post-conflict political economy; climate change and security.


English, Somali, French

Selected Publications