Ory Okolloh

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Ory Okolloh in 2006

Ory Okolloh (or Ory Okolloh Mwangi) is a Kenyan activist, lawyer, and blogger. She currently holds the position of Director of Investments at Omidyar Network.[1][2][3] She was formerly the Policy Manager for Africa with Google. In 2006 she co-founded the parliamentary watchdog site Mzalendo (Swahili: "Patriot").[4] The site sought to increase government accountability by systematically recording bills, speeches, MPs, standing orders, etc.[4][5] 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.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8][9]

Ory was appointed on the Board of Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company, the body that acts as a guardian of the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles in May 2015.[10]

Okolloh was born into a relatively poor family.[11][12] 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."[12] She earned an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh and graduated from Harvard Law School in 2005.[6][9] Her father died of AIDS in 1999.[11][12] Okolloh lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, with her husband and three children.[11]


  1. ^ "Group launches initiative for global policy reform to lower Internet access cost". Retrieved 8 October 2013. 
  2. ^ Mohammed, Omar (2015-06-09). "Why aren’t more wealthy Africans backing the continent’s start-ups?". Quartz - Africa. Retrieved 2015-09-27. 
  3. ^ Kozlowska, Hanna (2015-04-06). "#147notjustanumber aims to name all those slain in Kenya attack". Quartz. Retrieved 2015-09-27. 
  4. ^ a b Bengali, Shashank (2007-06-21). "Native voices blog out of Africa". McClatchy Newspapers. Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  5. ^ Heavens, Andrew (2007-03-14). "The web watchdog biting Kenya's MPs". BBC News. Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  6. ^ a b Bahree, Megha (2008-11-13). "Citizen Voices". Forbes. Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  7. ^ Boyd, Clark (2005-04-06). "Global voices speak through blogs". BBC News. Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  8. ^ Kantai, Wallace (2009-07-19). "Kenyan gives platform for airing post-poll atrocities". Business Daily (Nation Media Group). Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  9. ^ a b Okolloh, Ory. "About". Kenyan Pundit. Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  10. ^ "Ory Okolloh joins Reuters Board of Directors". Innovation Village. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  11. ^ 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. 
  12. ^ a b c Okolloh, Ory (June 2007). "Ory Okolloh on becoming an activist". TED Talks. Retrieved 2009-09-11. 

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