Rutgers Names a Lecture Series in Women’s Global Health After an Alumna Who Died in a Terrorist Attack

anitadatarThe Institute for Women’s Leadership at Rutgers University in New Jersey has established a lecture series in women’s global health to honor Anita Ashok Datar. A 1995 graduate of Rutgers, Datar was one of 21 people killed in a terrorist attack at the Radisson Hotel in Bamako, Mali, on November 20, 2015. She was in Mali working to prevent HIV/AIDS and to educate women on reproductive health.

Datar was a native of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Her parents were immigrants from India. After graduating from Rutgers University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Datar served in the Peace Corps in the African nation of Senegal.

Returning to the United States in 1999, Datar earned master’s degrees in public health and public administration at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. She then moved to Washington and became a senior manager at Palladium Group, an international development organization.

Francine Newsome Pfeiffer, a Rutgers classmate of Datar and who is now vice president of the university’s Office of Federal Relations in Washington, D.C., came up with the idea to honor her friend. “This may sound trite, Pfeiffer said, “but Anita truly wanted to make a difference in the world and she lived it every day.”

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