Remembering a Rutgers Graduate Killed in Mali Attack

Related Message: Rutgers Flag to Be Lowered to Honor Victims of Attacks

November 22, 2015

To the Rutgers Community:

Even as we seek to make sense of last week’s terrible events in Paris and Beirut, yet another terrorist attack demands our attention. On Friday, in the Radison Blu Hotel in Bamako, Mali, innocent civilians again became pawns in an international conflict, with 21 lives lost. I ask you to remember all these victims and their families as you come together with your own families this week.

I am particularly saddened to inform you that Anita Datar, a 1995 graduate of Rutgers and a remarkable global citizen, was killed in the terrorist attack on Friday. Our entire community grieves for her, and for her parents, her siblings, and her seven-year-old son. The loss that they have suffered is immeasurable.

Ms. Datar was committed to improving public health and was in the West African nation on a project funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). She gave tirelessly in her pursuit to enhance public health programs, expand family planning, and curb the spread of HIV in developing nations.

After graduating from Rutgers College with a degree in psychology, Anita received master’s degrees in public health and public administration from Columbia University. She went on to serve in Senegal as a Peace Corps volunteer and spent the last few years back in Africa following her calling to improve conditions for populations in developing and under-developed nations.

Her death leaves emptiness in our hearts; her remarkable life is a reminder to us all of the capacity for good and the spirit of helpfulness to which we all can aspire.

Francis and I will be keeping her family in our thoughts. I hope that the entire Rutgers community will join us and will find Anita’s life to be an inspiration.


Robert Barchi