An Immigrant and Political Refugee
Cristina Osmena immigrated to the United States from the Philippines at the age of six when her family opposed, then fled, the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. She grew up in California, exiled until the People Power revolution of 1986 that brought President Corazon Aquino to power.
Osmena built an independent life in the United States, put herself through UC Berkeley and settled into a 20 year career in the financial industry at investment banks and investment management firms. Osmena was in New York, working as an equity analyst, when the World Trade Center was attacked.
More recently Osmena has transitioned to an executive role in the solar industry. In 2017, she was Vice President of Corporate Development of SunPreme, a privately-held solar module manufacturer based in Sunnyvale before leaving to focus on her candidacy. Prior to SunPreme, Osmena was involved with foundation activities at SunEdision, at it's peak one of the largest developers of renewable energy projects.
Osmena is married to Stephen O'Rourke, co-founder of a firm that develops large scale renewable energy power plants. O'Rourke is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and a veteran of the first Gulf War, stationed as an officer on the U.S.S Simon Bolivar, a ballistic missile submarine. Osmena is the great grand-daughter of Philippine President Sergio Osmena (1944-1946) who walked ashore with General MacArthur during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Through her mother, she is a member of the "Grand Barretto Family" that extends through Spain, Mexico, and the Philippines.
She received a Bachelor of Arts in English from UC Berkeley and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. A writer by training and inclination, Osmena has published several short fiction pieces in addition to a wide range of published non-fiction. She currently writes a weekly column for the Philippine News and recently joined the Board of the Philippine American Press Club.