#LeadingLadySpotlight: Ory Okolloh, Kenyan activist and Founder, Ushahidi

Tech-savvy lawyer and activist Ory Okolloh Mwangi combines her skills and passion to increase government transparency and accountability.

She is known as the “Kenyan pundit” for good reason: not only does she have strong opinions about government transparency, the role of entrepreneurship and African storytelling – she has also always been committed to helping others share their voices.

Until recently, Ory was the Managing Director, Omidyar Network and Luminate Group in Africa – both part of The Omidyar Group – a diverse collection of companies, organizations and initiatives united by a common desire to catalyse positive social impact.

She serves on the board of several organisations including the Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company, Stanbic Holdings Plc and Stanbic Bank Kenya, and is the Chair of the Stanbic Foundation.

She is also an Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN) Fellow and has in the past served as advisory board member to Twiga Foods, Amnesty International Africa and Endeavor Kenya among several other organisations.

Ory has a Juris Doctor (the equivalent of a master’s degree) from Harvard Law School and a B.A in Political Science (summa cum laude) from the University of Pittsburgh. 

Her current role as a non-executive director at East African Breweries Ltd (EABL) saw her picked as a member of the Covid-19 ICT Advisory Committee which is tasked with integrating ICT in the fight against the pandemic.

A gazette notice issued by Cabinet Secretary for ICT Joe Mucheru stated the role of the newly established committee would be to assess how ICT can support efforts to combat the virus, including to develop and implement a framework for identifying, supporting and scaling local technology.

Prior to her new frontline role, Ory was Google’s Policy and Strategy Manager for Africa. She was at the forefront of developing technology innovation as a founding member of Ushahidi.

She is also the co-founder of Mzalendo, a website that tracks the performance of Kenyan MPs. Ory Okolloh spearheaded the founding of Ushahidi, a revolutionary crowd sourcing utility that enables citizen journalists and eyewitnesses all over the world to report incidents of violence through the web, mobile E-mail, SMS, and Twitter.

In 2011 Ory was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and one of Africa’s most Powerful Women by Forbes Magazine. 

In 2014 she was featured in the prestigious list of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.

 

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