Memorial Initiatives
Gita Beker Busjeet
Gita Beker Busjeet (Bologna ' 04 and DC' 05) passed away on November 3rd, 2012, at the age of 30, after a valiant seven-year struggle against brain cancer. A citizen of the United States, the Netherlands and Mauritius, Gita led a productive life marked by courage, dedication and service to others until the very end.

After graduating from high school, she worked on community development in Namibia. Following her SAIS Bologna year, she spent the summer in Puno, Peru, above 5,000 meters in the Andes in a social environment much like the old Wild West mining towns, on a project to combat child labor in artisanal mining. From 2007 to 2012, Gita worked on monitoring and evaluation of economic and social programs: in the field with the Pinheiro Foundation in Minas Gerais, Brazil; at the World Bank in Washington DC; and at the oldest international women's funds worldwide, the Dutch organization Mama Cash in Amsterdam.

Gita's professors and friends remember her charm, enthusiasm and optimism. Following her premature death, her parents, classmates, friends and husband (Jeremy Brown, a SAIS alumnus), have decided to set up the the Gita Beker Busjeet Memorial Fellowship Fund to honor her memory. The Fund will support students at SAIS Bologna sharing her professional interests in economic and social development and the economic empowerment of women.

Since its inception, the initiative has had an incredible success and the initial long term goal - to raise $100,000 and create an endowment that will honor Gita's memory in perpetuity - has already been reached. Starting from Academic Year 2013-2014, each year SAIS Europe at Bologna will welcome a new Gita Beker Busjeet Memorial Fellowship recipient.

Since 2013, 9 students have benefitted from the Gita Beker Busjeet Memorial Fellowship:

View Recipient List
Ms. Fatuma Hani Abdullahi Ibrahim (2021)
Current SAIS student in Bologna

Ms. Hazel Okwengu Atieno (2020)
She earned her Bachelor of Arts in from the University of Nairobi, Nigeria.

Ms. Nnenda Chinda (2019)
Current SAIS student at SAIS Europe

Ms. Mende Yangden (2018)
She earned her Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs and Economics from Skidmore College, NY, USA. Mende has completed the first year of her MA at SAIS Europe and is currently in Washington, D.C. for her second year of study at SAIS.

Ms. Nawalage Cooray (2017)
She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Global Studies from the St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. Nawalage has recently graduated from SAIS, after spending her first year at SAIS Europe and the second in Washington, D.C. During the second year of her MA, Nawalage worked as an intern at Callaway Capital Management, LLC, where she conducted market research on South American and South African Markets.

Ms. Eeman Amjad (2016)
She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences from the Sarah Lawrence College, New York. Eeman is currently working as a Content Writer at Youlin Magazine in Islamabad.

Ms. Roxana Martinelli (2015)
She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Business Administration from the Universidad de Buenos Aires in Argentina. After working as a Cooperation Project Officer c/o the Delegation of the European Union to Chile, Provincia de Santiago, Chile, Roxana is now a Private Sector Specialist for UN Women in Santiago, Chile.

Ms. Lama Kiyasseh (2014)
She earned her Bachelor of Science in Economics and Finance from the Babson College in Boston. Lama is currently a Consultant - Energy Group MENA and PPP CCSA – at the World Bank Group in Washington DC.

This year, the Gita Beker Busjeet Memorial Fellowship recipient is Ms. Samreen Abdullahi Ibrahim from Pakistan. View profile.

The initiative is ongoing, with the aim to increase the Fund to augment the yearly fellowship to align it with current tuition. On behalf of the SAIS Bologna Center and the Gita Beker Busjeet Fellowsip recipients, we thank you for your generosity!

Classmates and friends of Gita who are interested in joining the initiative should contact the Bologna Development Staff

Make a pledge and/or a gift now on our Online Donations page.

SAIS Europe - Via Beniamino Andreatta, 3 - 40126 Bologna, Italy
© 2022
SAIS Europe
Via Beniamino Andreatta, 3
40126 Bologna, Italy
© 2022