The Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL) has unveiled its keynote speaker for the 15th Annual Business Law Conference scheduled to hold on Wednesday July 14th and Thursday 15th, 2021.

In a press statement signed by the Chair of the Conference Media, Publicity & Mobilization subcommittee, Theodora Kio-Lawson, the Section revealed that NASA’s Wendy Okolo would give the keynote address at this year’s conference.

Dr. Wendy Okolo is an aerospace engineering researcher in the Intelligent Systems Division at NASA Ames Research Center. She leads a controls team on a Space Technology project to advance the guidance, navigation, and control technologies that will make precision landing for deployable entry vehicles a reality for planetary exploration.

At 26 years old, Wendy became the first black woman to obtain a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington. Her graduate studies were recognized and funded by the U.S. Department of Defense through the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship, Zonta International through the Amelia Earhart Fellowship, the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the Texas Space Grant Consortium. Other research awards include a Resolution of Commendation from the Tarrant County Court of Texas and an award for excellence in research by the Women of Color in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics).

At NASA, she has received a number of awards including the 2020 NASA Ames Award for Researcher/Scientist and the 2019 NASA Ames Early Career Researcher Award. Dr. Okolo is also the recipient of the 2019 U.T. Arlington Distinguished Recent Graduate Award, the 2019 Women In Aerospace Award for Initiative, Inspiration & Impact, and the 2019 Black Engineer of the Year Award for Most Promising Engineer in U.S. Government.

Her focus is in the area of systems health monitoring and control systems design with applications to air and space components, vehicles, and systems. To that effect she manages a multi-million-dollar sub-project on a System-Wide Safety Project, leading a team to develop the monitoring, predictive, and mitigation capabilities that will enable the safe operations of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the U.S. national airspace.

Dr Okolo, whose keynote address will dwell on the 2021 theme: “Re-tooling Business for Change: Leveraging the Tech Explosion”, will kickstart conference conversations across several plenary and breakout sessions to explore the fast-developing relationship between frontier technologies, business and the law.

According to Kio-Lawson, the choice of the young NASA top executive as this year’s keynote speaker was in fulfilment of a promise to offer participants an unusual experience with explosive content and resource at 15th conference.

She said, “The NBA-SBL is dynamic and forward thinking in its approach to achieving its objectives – which includes capacity building, professional development for members, collaborative efforts to drive policy changes and several other contributions to the bar. In the aftermath of a pandemic and faced with current realities, it was important that the 2021 theme brought to light the disruptive nature of technology and its transformative impact across the world today. Hence our choice of theme, keynote speaker and selection of highly knowledgeable speakers and discussants”

The 15th Annual Business Conference which is a hybrid of virtual and in-person attendance will amongst other things, spotlight vital topics such as, tech innovation and e-governance; the future of digital financial services; alternative currencies in the digital age; global tech trends in law practice management; the role and impact of technology and innovation in bridging the health care deficit in Nigeria, amongst other vital discourse