Ory Okolloh to Join Reuters Founders Share Company Board of Directors
The Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company acts as a guardian of the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. Created in the midst of World War II in 1941, the Trust Principles apply to the entire Thomson Reuters business and are designed to preserve its independence, integrity and freedom from bias in the gathering and dissemination of information and news. The new appointment will take effect on June 1, 2015.
A resident of South Africa and native of Kenya, Okolloh is a globally recognized activist, lawyer and blogger. She currently serves as Director of Investments at Omidyar Network, a California-based philanthropic investment firm.
Okolloh has a long track record of working at the intersection of government affairs and technology. Prior to joining Omidyar Network, she served as Google’s Policy Manager for Africa. When Kenya was engulfed in violence following a disputed presidential election in 2007, she helped create Ushahidi (Swahili: “Witness”), a website that recorded eyewitness reports of violence using text messages and Google Maps. The technology has since been adapted in a number of other countries for different purposes, including monitoring elections and tracking pharmaceutical availability.
In 2006 she co-founded the parliamentary watchdog site Mzalendo (Swahili: “Patriot”), which sought to increase accountability by recording governmental bills, speeches and standing orders. Additionally, she has served as a legal consultant for NGOs and has held various positions with Covington and Burling, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and the World Bank.
Okolloh earned an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh and graduated from Harvard Law School in 2005. She was named to the TIME 100 Most Influential People list in 2014.
Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, Chairman of the Founders Share Company’s Board, said, “A true pioneer in technology and philanthropy, Ory Okolloh’s creative insight, global perspective and sharp sense of accountability will be a valuable addition to the Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company’s Board of Directors. We are pleased to welcome her.”