Originally from Somalia, Hussen emigrated to the Toronto area as a refugee in 1993 at the age of 16. After doing high school in Hamilton, Hussen completed postsecondary studies in history at York followed by a law degree at the University of Ottawa. He passed the Ontario bar in 2012.
As a lawyer Hussen focused on criminal law, immigration and refugee law, and human rights law. Hussen describes himself as a political activist. In 2002 he cofounded the Regent Park Community Council and worked to secure a $500 million revitalization project for the Regent Park community taking into account the interests of the area’s 15,000 residents. He was also a member of the task force for modernizing income security for adults in the Toronto City Summit Alliance.
His career in politics started in 2001 when he began volunteering at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. This led to a job as an assistant to Dalton McGuinty, at the time the leader of the opposition in the province. After the Liberal victory in 2003, Hussen was promoted to Special Assistant in McGuinty’s office, in charge of issues management, policy and communications.
Hussen has served as National President of the Canadian Somali Congress, an organization that advocates for national and regional issues of interest to Canadians of Somali descent. In that role he acted as the founding director of the Somali Women Scholarship Program.
Under his leadership, the Congress formed a partnership with the Canadian International Peace Project and the Canadian Jewish Congress and together they established Canadian Somali-Jewish Mentorship Project.
He sat as a member of the federal government’s CrossCultural Roundtable on Security, a panel created to promote dialogue between cultural communities and government officials until 2012.
The first Somali Canadian elected to the House of Commons, Ahmed is fluent in English, Somali, and Swahili. He is the father of two children.