Abdikarim Gole received a Master of Science degree in agricultural, environmental, and development economics from Ohio State University, where he wrote his thesis on agricultural development and management in Somalia. Abdikarim also has a Master of Science degree from Alexandria University in Alexandria, Egypt, where his thesis examined international agricultural trade in Somalia. He holds a Bachelor of Science (agricultural economics) degree from Alexandria University. Prior to joining OEF, Abdikarim taught Somali language and culture courses at Ohio State University. He also spent five years working for the Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI), a non-profit organization and Small Business Administration intermediary micro lender in Columbus, Ohio. At ECDI, Abdikarim served as a small business developer and provided technical assistance, performed in-depth credit analyses on borrower’s, and analyzed overall loan portfolio quality. He was awarded President Barack Obama’s Volunteer Service Award in June 2011 in recognition of his commitment to community service. He is fluent in Somali, Arabic and English.