We are profoundly saddened to announce that Samya Stumo, a 24-year-old analyst on our team, was among those killed in the Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday, March 10, 2019.

Samya was on her way to Kenya and Uganda as part of her role as a health financing analyst with ThinkWell, a health policy implementation and advocacy group focused on improving health care in low- and middle-income countries. She was supporting a $20 million initiative, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to increase access to affordable primary health care in six countries across Africa and Asia.

She firmly believed that health systems should be pragmatic and people-centered.  A strong advocate for vulnerable populations around the world, she was passionate about resolving the disconnect between policy and practice. She incisively critiqued the status quo of the global health and development aid architecture, with a keen focus on creating positive change.

Before joining ThinkWell, Samya worked at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, where she focused on building health systems to effectively alleviate suffering from viral Hepatitis. She earned her BA degrees from University of Massachusetts Amherst and an MSc in Global Health from University of Copenhagen.

Samya was a rising star in the cause to improve global health and development. She was contagiously enthusiastic about her work, about her colleagues, and about life in general. Her loss will be deeply felt throughout the development community.