Olga Anderson is Past Chair of IEEE Smart Village Education (a priority initiative of the IEEE Foundation). She has 30 years of experience as a humanitarian engineer, educator, and linguist, with a series of high-profile projects worldwide.
Olga received Master’s degrees in Education and Philology from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (Kiev, Ukraine) and Mechanical Engineering from St. Martin’s University (Olympia, WA, USA).
After graduation, she helped coordinate an international disaster relief project serving thousands of victims and families affected by the Chernobyl accident. Subsequently, she moved to the United States and worked with a series of NGOs serving disadvantaged youth and adults throughout New York City. During this period, her work and impact were recognized by a wide range of philanthropic programs and government officials. She continued to work in the STEM education sector for another 15 years, founding a series of training centers serving disadvantaged children and refugees from SE Asia and Latin America.
In 2015, she joined IEEE Smart Village and has served in a number of leadership roles for advancing IEEE’s signature program of “Advancing Technology for the Benefit of Humanity.” The IEEE Smart Village program serves as the IEEE member-driven seed fund for launching holistically sustainable entrepreneurs providing electricity, education, and economic empowerment to the poorest communities of Africa, India, and SE Asia.
From January 2017 to June 2020, she chaired the Education Committee of IEEE Smart Village and oversaw eight Working Groups, developing programs and education materials covering a spectrum of topics from women’s empowerment to microgrid design to sustainable agriculture. In 2018, Olga’s committee was awarded $500,000 USD by the IEEE Power & Energy Society board to fund nine education and women’s empowerment projects in Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, India, Papua New Guinea, and Galapagos Islands (Ecuador).
Olga is a charter member of the Silicon Valley Smart Village Rotary e-club and has worked with Rotary service clubs on numerous projects worldwide to provide clean water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) facilities, along with literacy, numeracy, entrepreneurship, and women’s empowerment training.
Olga has been awarded numerous recognitions during her academic career and subsequently as a humanitarian educator and engineer. Most recently, she was awarded the “Outstanding IEEE member who promoted Global Humanitarian Projects or Activities” by IEEE Region 6.