My dear friend Elif Yavuz was killed in the terrorist attack on Nairobi’s Westgate Mall last year on September 21st. More than 60 people, including Elif's partner Ross Langdon were killed that day in Nairobi. She was eight months pregnant and was traveling with Ross in Nairobi where they were scouting out hospitals for childbirth. Ross was an inspiring architect who had designed buildings across Africa with a particular focus on sustainability. Elif and Ross had decided to name their baby girl Asha, after a Swahili word for 'life'.
She was a malaria specialist working for the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. We met while being graduate students at Johns Hopkins SAIS in 2004, spending a year each at both the Bologna and Washington D.C. campuses. She also worked for the World Bank after receiving her degree from Hopkins. and more recently had she received her PhD from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH).