Rt Hon. Jacob Oulanyah was born on 23 March 1965 in Gulu District to Nathan L’okori and Karen Atwon. He attended St. Joseph’s College Layibi, Dr. Obote College Boroboro and Kololo Senior Secondary School for his O-Level and A-Level education.
Oulanyah joned Makerere University in 1988 for a bachelor’s in Agricultural Economics. In 1991, he enrolled for a Bachelor of Laws still at Makerere University graduating in 1994. During his time at the university, he became Guild Speaker.
In 1995, he attended the Law Development Centre (LDC) where he obtained a postgraduate diploma in legal practice, he briefly lectured at the Law Development Centre.
Oulanyah contested in 2001 for the Omoro County Parliamentary seat which he won. In 2006, he lost his re-election to Parliament under UPC ticket. In July of the same year, he joined the ruling NRM.
March 2011, Oulanyah was elected to represent Omoro County then in Gulu District, in the Ninth Parliament on the NRM ticket. He was elected as Deputy Speaker of Parliament on 19 May 2011.
In the 2016 general elections, Oulanyah was re-elected as MP and also as Deputy Speaker of Parliament.
On 24th May 2021, Oulanyah was voted Speaker of Parliament. He served in this position until his demise on 20 March 2022.