People & Profiles

Alum Ahmed ‘Flex’ Omar on philanthropy and innovation

By Chris Quirk

April 11, 2024

A man wearing a purple suit stands near a white railing in a glass-walled building on the Loyola University Chicago campus

After escaping war in Somalia, Ahmed “Flex” Omar (BBA ’05) arrived in the United States as a refugee and made Loyola home. “Having that experience early on, seeing war, made me want to do my best to help as many people as I can,” Omar says. Over the past two decades, he has created businesses, volunteered, and developed philanthropies that have created jobs and opportunities, often for those most in need.

“Loyola was a really great experience for me, as was being in Rogers Park, one of the most diverse neighborhoods,” he says. “As a faith-based and Jesuit institution, Loyola is welcoming to all, and being able to practice as a Muslim here and be supported by the institution was incredible. I felt at home right away.”

Since that time, the irrepressible Omar has been a whirlwind of activity. The entrepreneur has begun several successful businesses, the most recent of which is FlexTech AI, a consulting firm that seeks to merge the best of artificial intelligence and human acumen to help his clients.

“It’s important to combine the machine’s capabilities with human intelligence to get the best results,” says Omar. “Many people fear that AI will take jobs—and it is certainly going to affect the future of work—but I think AI is a net job creator.”

In 2016, Omar received the Presidential Service Award from Barack Obama. He was also honored in 2023 with the Distinguished Service Award by Loyola’s Black Alumni Board, of which he is also the executive vice president.

Among his philanthropic ventures, Omar has worked to assist those in need in East Africa, creating the Muna Beauty Certification Program, which provides training and a credential for those seeking a career in that industry.

“I’m really devoted to helping young people of color pursue opportunities in the business world, and I’m very active here at Loyola,” says Omar. “I got a lot out of this university and I’m passionate about giving back.”

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