Evelio Otero Jr. (’82 Journalism and Mass Communication, Political Science) will be honored in a special ceremony for alumni award recipients at the Iowa State University Alumni Association on Thursday, October 21, 2021 in Ames, Iowa. The event recognizes outstanding alumni and friends of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS).
Otero will receive the Carrie Champman Catt Public Engagement Award from LAS at the ISU Alumni Association’s celebration Oct. 22, 2021. The award honors alumni of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who have demonstrated outstanding achievement for their work with public entities at the local, state, national or international levels.
Otero, who joined the ROTC program while earning two degrees, launched a military career as a second lietenant in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, quickly accelerating his role by serving as a senior member of a team tracking Pablo Escobar and the Medellin cartel in the 1980s.
In 1998, he authored the Department of Defense’s policy of reassimilation with North Korea. After 9/11, he was called upon to establish the intelligence division which supported the military operations in Iraq and Afghanastan. Throughout multiple roles he advised senators, members of Congress, national and international media.
Otero retired from the military in 2010 with the rank of Colonel. He now serves as business development manager for Gemini Industries, which supports and consults on national security issues. He was also recently named to the Texas A&M George H.W. School of Public Policy guest lecturers.
Otero’s philanthropic endeavors are just as remarkable as his military ones. In 2013, he founded the Course of Action Foundation to promote trade in Tampa, Fla., children education programs and humanitarian relief activities. In 2017, the Foundation operated the largest hurricane collection point in Central Florida, shipping more than three million pounds of supplies via military planes and shipping containers to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands during Hurricane Maria. The foundation also coordinated the shipment of vital necessities to victims of Hurricanes Michael and Dorian and the 2020 earthquake in Puerto Rico.