Jane Olson has volunteered for many decades to promote peace and justice through international human rights and humanitarian organizations. She chaired the International Board of Trustees of Human Rights Watch from 2004 to 2010 and was co-chair of the Women’s Refugee Commission. As founding board chair of Landmine Survivors Network/Survivor Corps, she led LSN for 12 years.
Extensive travels with those and other humanitarian organizations took Jane to Nicaragua and El Salvador during the Contrw Wars and the former Soviet Union, beginning with trips to Ukraine in 1989 and 1990, a time of revolution. As the former USSR fell apart and wars broke out, she participated in investigative trips to the former Yugoslavia during the ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Bosnia and to the Caucasus countries of Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Mission to many countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America focused on human rights abuse and refugee conditions, HIV/AIDS, landmines, and other calamities caused by conflict and extreme poverty.
Jane is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a board member of The Trusteeship, the Southern California chapter of the International Women’s Forum, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Pacific Council on International Policy.
Jane grew up in rural western Iowa and graduated from the University of Nebraska. She lives with her husband, attorney Ronald L. Olson, in Pasadena, California. They have three children and eight grandsons.