Ory Okolloh

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ory Okolloh in 2006

Ory Okolloh is a Kenyan activist, lawyer, and blogger. She currently holds the position of Director of Investments at Omidyar Network.[1] She was formerly the Policy Manager for Africa with Google. In 2006 she co-founded the parliamentary watchdog site Mzalendo (Swahili: "Patriot").[2] The site sought to increase government accountability by systematically recording bills, speeches, MPs, standing orders, etc.[2][3] When Kenya was engulfed in violence following a disputed presidential election in 2007, Okolloh helped create Ushahidi (Swahili: "Witness"), a website that collected and recorded eyewitness reports of violence using text messages and Google Maps.[4] The technology has since been adapted for other purposes (including monitoring elections and tracking pharmaceutical availability) and used in a number of other countries. Okolloh also has a personal blog, Kenyan Pundit, which was featured on Global Voices Online.[5] She also worked as a legal consultant for NGOs and has worked at Covington and Burling, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, and the World Bank in the past.[6][7]

Okolloh was born into a relatively poor family.[8][9] She has said that her parents sent her to a private elementary school that they could "barely afford," which "set the foundation for what ended up being my career."[9] She earned an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh and graduated from Harvard Law School in 2005.[4][7] Her father died of AIDS in 1999.[8][9] Okolloh lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, with her husband and three children.[8]


  1. ^ "Group launches initiative for global policy reform to lower Internet access cost". Retrieved 8 October 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Bengali, Shashank (2007-06-21). "Native voices blog out of Africa". McClatchy Newspapers. Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  3. ^ Heavens, Andrew (2007-03-14). "The web watchdog biting Kenya's MPs". BBC News. Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  4. ^ a b Bahree, Megha (2008-11-13). "Citizen Voices". Forbes Magazine. Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  5. ^ Boyd, Clark (2005-04-06). "Global voices speak through blogs". BBC News. Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  6. ^ Kantai, Wallace (2009-07-19). "Kenyan gives platform for airing post-poll atrocities". Business Daily (Nation Media Group). Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  7. ^ a b Okolloh, Ory. "About". Kenyan Pundit. Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  8. ^ a b c Hogg, Care Dwyer (2009-03-10). "Modern networker: using ICT to change Kenyan life for the better". The Independent. Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  9. ^ a b c Okolloh, Ory (June 2007). "Ory Okolloh on becoming an activist". TED Talks. Retrieved 2009-09-11. 

External links[edit]