Staff Bios

Tony Long, Executive Director

Tony Long is the fourth Executive Director of the Osher lifelong Learning Institute at American University (OLLI at AU) in its 37 year history. He started at OLLI at AU in 2013 as its Curriculum Coordinator and then as its Deputy Executive Director before assuming the ED role in 2018. Tony's charge is to provide the highest quality academic programming, to practice sound financial management, and to implement strategic initiatives set forth by the Board of Directors. He earned an MA in Government Studies from Johns Hopkins University and taught university-level composition and research writing for nine years prior to coming to OLLI at AU.

Lesley Diaz, director of Academic Programming    

Lesley has a BA in education and is a former elementary school teacher. She has lived in Saudi Arabia, Japan, and Cuba (as well as several different states), and taught most recently at an international school in Peru. Although no longer a teacher, Lesley enjoys still working in education, now with adult learners at OLLI. She has been with OLLI at AU since June 2018 after moving to the Washington, DC area from Richmond, VA. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, cooking, and designing new pieces for her Etsy shop.

Lisa Olson, Director of Operations and Projects


With a BS in Business Management and minors in Theater Arts and Communication Studies from VA Tech, Lisa began her career in information technology as a systems engineer and then in technical sales working with Electronic Data Systems (EDS) in VA, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Hawaii. After moving back to the DC area, Lisa began working for a small conservation non-profit, WildlifeDirect, that was founded by Dr. Richard Leakey and Harold Wackman to support wildlife in Africa. As part of her duties, she traveled to Kenya to view many magnificent animals in the wild. Lisa then moved to Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital on Capitol Hill where she was the Venue Manager working with clients for private events and eventually became their Director of Programming. Throughout these experiences, Lisa has always focused on operations and how to make improvements within each organization for people and animals.

Jesse Williams, Operations manager    

Jesse attended the University of the District of Columbia where he studied Criminal Justice. Prior to joining  OLLI, Jesse worked at Facility Logix as a Project Management Administrator. He has previous work experience in office management. Jesse has over 20 years working with  DC law firms.  During his spare time, Jesse enjoys spending time with his family and grilling.


SARA BEATTY, programs and projects coordinator


Sara holds a BA in Psychology and a minor in Public Health from American University. During her time at AU, she tutored elementary students, worked at the AU museum, and studied abroad in Scotland. She interned for OLLI her senior year before joining the team full-time and is excited to start her career in education. Having grown up in Vermont and Massachusetts, Sara loves the outdoors, traveling, and iced coffee. 

niranjan singh, administrative Coordinator    

Niranjan brings a passion for education and learning, having supported operations at Johns Hopkins and at his alma mater, the University of Rochester.  Niranjan also has  taught conventional classes for adults and tutored at-risk and international students. In his spare time, Niranjan practices yoga and Chi Gong. Niranjan hopes to use all his experience, education, and sense of humor to help serve OLLI’s mission of making lifelong learning an amazing experience for OLLI members.