The U.S. Department of State has named Otiende Amollo as State Alumni Member of the Month. Amollo is a Kenyan alumnus of the Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Throughout October, his leadership and contributions toward the promotion of human rights, civil liberties, and fair democratic rights will be recognized on the State Alumni website (https://alumni.state.gov), the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ official website for the more than one million Department-sponsored exchange alumni worldwide. Each month, the Bureau’s Office of Alumni Affairs, which supports alumni as they build on their exchange experiences, confers the award on an outstanding alumnus or alumna.
Amollo participated in 2007 in the IVLP project “U.S. Foreign Policy and Human Rights.” His program brought him to Washington, D.C.; New York, NY; Atlanta, GA; Seattle, WA; and New Orleans, LA. Exemplifying alumni excellence, Amollo implements concepts gained through his exchange experiences, exhibits leadership qualities, strengthens the alumni community, works to increase international mutual understanding, demonstrates a commitment to community service, and makes a positive impact on society. He credits his exchange experience with having a profound impact on his career.
In March 2009, Amollo was appointed by President (and fellow IVLP alumnus) Mwai Kibaki to rewrite the constitution of Kenya. In discussing this task, Amollo said that his IVLP experience “is helping me design what is helpful for Kenya. It also helped me understand coexistence in a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious community. It was a real lesson on how to diffuse the tribal divisions that exist in Kenya.” As a legal advocate, Amollo dedicates his time to working pro bono for underprivileged members of the Kenyan society. One of his cases was a landmark win in the fight against the HIV/AIDS stigma. That win established the triple principles, which are encapsulated in the HIV Act that he subsequently spearheaded.
Influenced by his late father, Amollo runs a school program for 12 orphans in his village of Chianda about 440 kilometers outside of Nairobi. Through that program he pays the orphans’ school fees and opens his up-country home to them. Amollo looks to keep alive the legacy of his father, who taught and accommodated orphans for 14 years until his death last year.
For more information, visit the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ website at http://exchanges.state.gov/alumni/alumnus.html.
Media Contact: Catherine Stearns, StearnsCL@state.gov or phone (202) 632-6437