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Remembering our colleague and friend Anita Datar one year on

It has been one year since our colleague and friend, Anita Datar, was tragically and senselessly killed while she was working in Bamako, Mali. Anita, along with a team of colleagues from Mali and the United States, were in Bamako to meet with local government and civil society members to launch Health Policy Plus – a program which aims to improve health services, and equitable access to them, for all Malians.

While devastated by this unspeakable loss, we have been enormously grateful for the outpouring of condolences and honors bestowed in her memory. Her unceasing efforts on behalf of women, girls and people living with HIV and the grace of her spirit and every-day interactions left warm and indelible memories on many. Anita’s impact continues to reverberate globally.
We are pleased to share just a sample of the honors and activities that have been made in tribute to this remarkable woman:

  • The US Congress passed unanimous bipartisan resolution (S-Res 347) honoring her life and work, which was entered into the congressional Record on June 7, 2016.
  • The US Agency for International Development (USAID) unveiled a memorial plaque on June 8, 2016, to honor Anita and other women and men who died advancing foreign assistance on behalf of the United States.
  • USAID also announced on June 21, 2016, in collaboration with Palladium, the Anita Datar Legacy USAID fellowship aimed at providing graduate-student fellows with practical and professional experiences in fields related to the work of USAID.
  • Rutger’s University, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and the Peace Corps, Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, and John Hopkins School of Public Health have named and endowed scholarships, fellowships, and a lecture series in her name.
  • Anita’s Palladium colleagues in West Africa have created the Grand Prix Anita Datar, an annual prize of $1,000 to be awarded to a Malian non-profit working to promote the health and well-being of disadvantaged girls and women.

These remarkable tributes honor Anita and ensure that her work will inspire those who benefit from the many fellowships and scholarships established in her name. This new cadre of professionals will form a future generation of international development experts applying their expertise and innovation to the important causes she cared about.

These and many more honors will continue to keep Anita’s memory alive and radiate her life’s work for many years to come.

For more information about Anita Datar and to make contributions in her memory, visit:

To read reflections from colleagues and friends, please visit our Memories of Anita page.