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Tuesday, February 7, 2006
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Ohio University welcomes African executive-in-residence

ATHENS, Ohio (Feb. 7, 2006) -- Former Botswana Air executive Beatrice Selotlegeng has come to Ohio University to serve as an executive in residence. Selotlegeng will spend the next two and a half years at Ohio University where she will teach management courses in the College of Business and will work with the African Studies Program on programming and business outreach.

Selotlegeng's career in the airline industry spans 37 years. She began her career at East African Airways Corporation in Nairobi, Kenya and joined Air Botswana in 1973. Her key responsibilities at Air Botswana have included contract negotiations as well as ground handling of international carriers operating in Botswana. Her professional and personal focus has been in the development of human capital and the creation of a customer-service oriented culture. During her only break from her career in the airline industry, Selotlegeng served as head of the Marketing and Service Quality Department at Standard Chartered Bank from 1997-2000.

In 2001 she returned to Air Botswana in the capacity of deputy general manager. In this capacity she provided strategic direction to the entire organization and led a team of executive personnel in achieving the mandate set by the shareholders. She played a critical role in the privatization of the national airline. In June 2005 Selotlegeng was appointed acting chief executive and provided Air Botswana with much needed strategic direction which culminated in the expansion and renewal of the airline's fleet.

In December, 2005 Selotlegeng retired from the airline as acting chief executive/airline advisor to take up her residency at Ohio University. During her two-year stay in Athens, she will also enroll in the College of Business executive MBA program. Selotlegeng earned a bachelor's degree in business from Indiana University and has participated in professional development courses and training in Switzerland, Washington, D.C., Lesotho and Zimbabwe. She is a charter member and a past president of Tirelo Rotary Club and is a recipient of the prestigious Saphire Paul Harris Fellow Award.

Selotlegeng looks forward to working with faculty and students at Ohio University and to the opportunity to put her experiences and expertise to work for the benefit of others. "I admire the approach of the College of Business in bringing in people from outside academia to share their experiences with students," she said. "The groups I'll be lecturing will be able to benefit from my professional background." She added that she feels privileged to have been asked to come to Ohio University and looks forward to the challenges and growth opportunities of working in the university setting.

"Executives in residence add a very important dimension to our students' learning experience," said Glenn Corlett, dean of the College of Business. "Our mission is to provide a distinctive learning environment that actively engages students, faculty and the business community in developing knowledge and skills relevant for success in a complex, global economy and executives in residence are an important element in achieving this outcome. Our students will be entering a marketplace that is increasingly global in scope. Experienced international managers like Beatrice are great resources for our students. We are very fortunate to have Beatrice with us for the next couple of years."

In addition to her work with the College of Business, Selotlegeng will work closely with Ohio University's African Studies Program, a designated Title VI National Resource Center for Africa supported by U.S. Department of Education funding. As such, the program provides students, scholars and members of the broader community opportunities to develop their understanding of this important world region. Selotlegeng plans to bring guest speakers to Ohio University to address different themes such as international diplomacy. She will also work to provide African business outreach throughout the region, the state and the country by making presentations to create awareness of the economic and business climate in Africa.

"Africa is one of the toughest and most interesting places in the world to do business, and the opportunities for American business connections are huge," said Steve Howard, director of African studies. "We hope that Beatrice's residency here will help businesses in our region and across the country find their way to the excitement of the African marketplace."

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Media Contact: Center for International Studies Assistant Director of Communication and Graduate Programming Jennifer Cochran, (740) 593-1842 or cochraj1@ohio.edu

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