2020 Tillman Scholar

Shane Oravsky

Columbia University

“Our greatest lessons come from failure. One’s ability to learn from these events create powerful moments to succeed and have meaningful impact.”

Shane grew up an avid sports fan in upstate New York, appreciating the drive, dedication and strategy of competitive sports. Following the events of 9/11, he attended West Point and had aspirations of becoming a U.S. Special Forces officer. Shane admired the members of Task Force Dagger for their ability to generate an immediate impact with a small signature and survive in ambiguous environments. Following Ranger School, he deployed to eastern Afghanistan as an infantry platoon leader. Shane developed strategic partnerships with tribal elders, denied Al-Qaeda safe havens along the Pakistani border and learned through successes and failures.

Shane began the journey to become a Green Beret when he returned from his first deployment and became a Special Forces detachment commander. He returned to Afghanistan and leveraged earlier life experiences to shape his decision-making. His Special Forces team initiated a regional uprising against the Taliban by empowering, and tactically supporting, key stakeholders in a fight against the oppressive regime.

In 2015, Shane became an FBI Special Agent and led counterterrorism and violent crime investigations in New York City. After military and federal law enforcement exposure, he witnessed some of the darker sides of humanity. Shane is determined to serve the global community through a different lens and provide meaningful value from those experiences. Shane is attending Columbia Business School to solve some of the world’s most challenging and complex healthcare problems. He intends to develop impactful solutions that assist 9/11 First Responders, Global War on Terrorism veterans and those that lack sufficient healthcare resources.