Memorial Initiatives
Hélène De Beir
Memorial Fellowship
Current Total
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Spencers Abruzzese ( DC11)
Stephanie & Edward Baker ( DC70)
Yvonne Bakkum
Juliet Berger (BC99 / DC00)
Carmen & Joseph Bredie (BC72 / DC72)
Lucas Theodoor De Beaufort (BC99 / DC05)
Francis De Beir
Luc De Voghel
Antoine Duvauchelle (BC99 / DC00)
Carolyn Evans
Anne Fazioli-Khiari ( DC05)
Anne Hassberger (BC99 / DC00)
Roger Hill
Caitlyn Kim (BC04 / DC05)
Annie & Ian Mackeson-Sandbach
Helen Medina (BC99 / DC00)
Dirk & da Costa Simcha Meerburg (BC99)
Pascale Pritsios ( DC05)
David Schupak (BC97 / DC98)
Tomoko Suzuki (BC99 / DC00)
Cristina Tallarigo (BC99 / DC05)
Makiko Toyoda ( DC03)
Lizzie van Niewenhuysse
Bastiaan Vanhorick
Louis Verstraeten
Florian Von Oppenheim (BC98 / DC99)
Olga & Benjamin Weber (BC99 / DC00)
Edward and Bonnie Wilson (BC67 / DC71)
Hélène De Beir (Bologna '99, Washington '99) was murdered in a violent ambush whilst working to alleviate suffering of the Afghan people on June 2, 2004. Early in life, she received an internationally oriented education with an emphasis on study, duty and social responsibility. After SAIS, Hélène worked in Liberia as part of the Jimmy Carter Foundation and assisted in the drafting of a new constitution. She later worked for the Belgian Development Cooperation and after passing through the world of finance, she was sent to Afghanistan for the first time in August 2002. In 2003 she joined Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) leaving for Iraq in April and then the Ivory Coast in June. In the spring of 2004, she travelled again to Afghanistan to run a tuberculosis clinic in the western province of Badghis. On June 2, 2004 gunfire was directed at a Médecins Sans Frontières vehicle on its way to the capital Khabul. Hélène was brutally shot dead together with four of her colleagues. The motive for the murder remains unknown to this day. To learn more about Hélène's life visit

In memory of Hélène, and to pursue her ideals, Hélène's father, Francis De Beir, decided to create the Hélène De Beir Memorial Fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies.

Thanks to the generosity of her father, classmates, and friends, the Hélène De Beir Memorial Fellowship has been endowed and will honor Hélène's memory in perpetuity.

"When asked what could be done to lower the degree of violence in the world, she would say: "When people have no words to express their discontent, disagreement or fear, they turn to violence. I see only three means of countering violence: education, education and education!" This is the reason why the Hélène De Beir Memorial Fellowship has been established and addressed to women of Islamic culture who want to pursue humanitarian studies, with the hope that one day these women will, either through their professional activities, as politicians or in public life, bring about a change in mentality regarding the position of women in the world." - Francis De Beir

Since 2006, 8 students have benefitted from the Helene de Beir Memorial Fellowship.

View Recipient List
Ms. Minaj Singh (2020)
Vaccine Data/Systems Analyst at CDC Foundation, Alexandria, Virginia

Ms. Nawalage Cooray (2018)
Intern at Callaway Capital Management, LLC, Washington, D.C.

Ms. Deea Ariana (2016)
Energy Infrastructure Finance & Advisory at The World Bank, Washington, D.C

Ms. Chimdindu Onwudiegwu (2014)
Senior Manager; Manager; Senior Consultant; Consultant; Associate Consultant at Dalberg, Nigeria

Ms. Edna M. Kallon (2012)
Technical Lead, Global Burden of Animal Diseases (GBADs) at World Organisation for Animal Health, Washington D.C.

Ms. Sana A. Khan (2008)
Senior Research Advisor at International Rescue Committee, New York

Ms. Mame Sice Sene (2007)
Principal Quality, Results and Monitoring Office at African Development Bank, Tunis and Abidjan

This year, the Helene de Beir Memorial Fellowship recipient is mS. Samreen Shahbaz. View profile.

Hélène's classmates and friends who would like to get involved in the initiative, should contact the Bologna Class of 1999 leaders Dirk Meerburg and Lucas De Beaufort or the Bologna development team at

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© 2023
SAIS Europe
Via Beniamino Andreatta, 3
40126 Bologna, Italy
© 2023