University of Pittsburgh
October 26, 2005

Verizon's Pa. President and CEO to Give Keynote Address at Pitt's "i-fest" Oct. 28

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—James V. O'Rourke Jr., president and CEO of Verizon Pennsylvania, will be the keynote speaker at, a three-day celebration showcasing the degree programs and research activities at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Information Sciences (SIS). O'Rourke will speak at noon Friday, Oct. 28, at the Holiday Inn at University Center, Oakland.

"The School of Information Sciences is thrilled to have this noted business leader as part of the events," said SIS Dean Ronald L. Larsen.

O'Rourke, a Pittsburgh native who earned the Bachelor of Science degree in economics and psychology at Pitt in 1979, will offer insights into how technology, particularly telecommunications technology, is leveling the playing field for the economies of developing and more advanced nations. O'Rourke will explain how telecommunications has enabled people, companies, and countries to connect globally and compete internationally and how business has changed dramatically, due to technological advances in the telecommunications field, including wireless communication, Voice-Over IP, the creation of networks to handle vast amounts of data, and fiber optic capabilities.

O'Rourke also will address the future of telecommunications and what the industry will need to do to meet the demands of an ever-growing and competitive corporate world.

"Communications technology will play a huge role in equipping our citizens and our businesses to meet the competitive challenges of the new global economy," said O'Rourke. "I am honored to have the opportunity to speak at this great event and provide some insight into what Verizon is doing to put powerful new tools for economic empowerment in people's hands."

On Oct. 28, in addition to his appearance at the i-fest luncheon, O'Rourke also will participate in three Pitt forums:

• At 10:45 a.m., Business Homeland Security, hosted by the Visual Information Systems Center at SIS, addressing the efforts by the Pittsburgh academic and business communities to build an inventory and online database of committed regional resources to prepare for natural and terror disasters, 7th floor, Information Sciences Bldg., 135 N. Bellefield Ave., Oakland;

• At 2 p.m., Conversations with Professionals, an outlet for undergraduate students in Pitt's School of Arts and Sciences to meet and network with industry leaders, Room 5317, Sennott Square, 210 S. Bouquet St., Oakland; and

• 3:15 p.m., Utilities: Infrastructures, Responsibilities and the Public Interest, a talk with members of the University's Honors College and Chancellor's Scholars,

36th floor, Cathedral of Learning.

O'Rourke serves on the boards of numerous professional and civic organizations, including Pennsylvania Business Roundtable, Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, TEAM Pennsylvania Foundation, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, La Salle University, and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

For more information, contact SIS Director of External Affairs Kelly Shaffer at

412-624-2677. The complete i-fest schedule is available at