Headshot of Zabat Awed
Senior Consultant
Everything Zabat does is geared toward empowering people and serving as a role model for those who are working hard to create and implement positive changes to existing social structures and policies. Zabat brightens meetings with her attitude and smile and asks intuitive questions that get to the heart of what we are trying do in our work.


Zabat is creative, resourceful, and flexible amid changing priorities. She is a dedicated team player, skilled communicator, and excellent crisis manager with demonstrated leadership and strong staff oversight and development skills. She applies The Improve Group’s Community-Responsive Approach to evaluation, staying attentive to the needs and unique contexts of stakeholders. This includes constant consideration for how an evaluation process can benefit not only a client or a program, but a larger community.

Equity lens

Zabat is driven by the question, “What can I do from my perspective to change people’s lives?” and is committed to advancing equity. She brings her equity lens to evaluation at The Improve Group based on experience promoting equity in state government and in international development. Zabat created and chaired the Equity Team at the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Office of Justice Programs, through which she advocated for and led administrative and policy changes. Zabat uses her fluency in Somali and Swahili to advance equity, from advocating for Somali- and Swahili-speaking clients at Cornerstone to communicating with families in rural Kenya to ensure new water wells truly met local needs.

Professional Experience

The Improve Group | St. Paul, MN | Senior Consultant | 2022-present | Plan, lead, and execute project activities to make the most of information, navigate complexity, and ensure clients’ investments of time and money lead to meaningful, sustained impact.

Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Justice Programs | St. Paul, Minnesota | Program Specialist | 2018-2022 | Created and chaired the OJP Equity Team; conducted eligibility analysis of reparations claims; developed and evaluated Crime Victim Reparations Board claims; conducted outreach to East African immigrant communities; and led community projects in conjunction with nonprofits, law enforcement, and community leaders to advance equity and social justice.

Ramsey County Attorney’s Office | St. Paul, MN | Child Support Enforcement Agent | 2016-2018 | Enforced court orders for the collection of basic child support, medical support, and/or child-care support.

Cornerstone | Minneapolis, MN | Lead Crisis Advocate | 2008-2016 | Supervised and mentored eight full-time and 12 part-time advocates, as well as providing advocacy, support, crisis intervention, and information/referrals to victims of domestic and sexual violence to advance organizational mission of creating communities where individuals and families are safe and children thrive.

Simpson Housing Services | Minneapolis, MN | Case Manager | 2008-2012 | Supported participants to find and furnish secure housing and access community services.


Metropolitan State University | Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership

Metropolitan State University | Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

Normandale Community College | Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts


Want to learn more about Zabat? Check out their full resume here!