Skip to Content

Speakers O


Justice Sandra Day OConnor

Sandra Day O'Connor was elected to two terms in the Arizona state senate. In 1981 Ronald Reagan nominated her as a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and she received unanimous Senate approval. As a justice, O'Connor was as a key swing vote in many important cases, including the upholding of Roe V. Wade.

Phil Oldham

Phil Oldham is the Regional Program Director at Mercy Corps. Previously, Phil worked in development and post-disaster communities throughout Africa, Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

Olga Oliker

Olga Oliker is associate director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center and a senior international policy analyst at the RAND Corporation. Before coming to RAND, she held positions in the U.S. Departments of Defense and Energy. Oliker's areas of expertise include international relations, national security policy, and security sector reform in the conflict, post-conflict, transition, and development contexts as well as U.S. and international efforts to advance reform in countries in transition. Her books include Aid During Conflict: Interaction Between Military and Civilian Assistance Providers in Afghanistan (2004), Making Liberia Safe: Transformation of the National Security Sector (2007), and The Impact of U.S. Military Drawdown in Iraq on Displaced and Other Vulnerable Populations (2010). In 2012 her commentaries appeared at,,, U.S. News & World Report.

Randy Olson

Photographer Randy Olson has traveled around the globe on assignment, heading to places as diverse as the Siberian Arctic, Africa, Iraq, Pakistan, India, China, Thailand, Iceland, Newfoundland, Guyana, American Samoa, Turkey, Republic of Georgia, Spain, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Australia, and the South Pacific.

Olson was named the Magazine Photographer of the Year for 2003 in the Pictures of the Year International competition. He was also awarded Newspaper Photographer of the Year in 1992, one of only two photographers to win the title in both media in the largest photojournalism contest operating continuously since World War II.

Olson was also awarded an Alicia Patterson Fellowship to support a seven-year project documenting a family with AIDS. His story on problems with Section 8 housing earned him a Robert F. Kennedy Award, and he was awarded the NPAA/Nikon Sabbatical Grant in 1996.

Olson has covered many diverse subjects for National Geographic, including U.S. national parks, Earth Day, county fairs, Russia's Putorana Plateau, the Indus civilization, the Black Sea, Australia's monsoons, the global fish crisis, and many others.

A graduate of the University of Kansas and the University of Missouri, Olson lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Melissa Farlow, also a contributing National Geographic photographer.

Nawzad Othman

Nawzad Othman was born in Ebril into a Kurdish family with deep connections to the history and evolution of the Kurdistan region. Nawzad emigrated to the US when he was 18. Nawzad earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from South Dakota State University; and his Master of Urban and Regional Studies from Mankato State University and gained considerable experience as a transportation engineer, bridge and airport design engineer in the Midwest and Oregon.Nawzad cofounded Otak, Inc., in 1981, one of Oregon’s largest and most respected architecture and engineering firms, with over 300 employees in Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, and Abu Dhabi, UAE and served as CEO of the company for 30 years. In 2012, Nawzad created The Othman Group to assist clients in the Pacific Northwest and the Middle East with business strategies, investment opportunities and sustainable practices.


Elder Sabore Ole Oyie

Sabore Ole Oyie is a Maasai elder and warrior. He uses his experience and knowledge gained from his formal education and his warrior training to educate the community on the importance of school and traditions. As second-in-command to the chief, he emphasizes youth education and economic development for his community. In addition, he is also a cultural ambassador for Kenya.

Hosted by Spiretech