Incident in Nairobi 15th January 2019

Gatsby Africa Statement

We are deeply shocked and saddened to confirm that Luke Potter, our Africa Programmes Director, was killed in the recent security incident in Nairobi.

Luke had devoted the past ten years of his career to helping some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world.  He had worked with us for three and a half years, carrying out assignments across East Africa. 

Luke was instrumental in establishing our forestry programme and team in Kenya, and provided crucial leadership, guidance and support to our Tanzanian forestry programme and our tea programmes in Rwanda and Tanzania. 

Luke was respected by all he worked with, bringing huge drive, determination, a relentless work ethic, and a thirst for new ideas to every project.  He brought a calm head and his unique sense of humour to every situation.  He was deeply committed to his work, to his teams, to Gatsby and to development in Africa.  He was our colleague and our friend.

We share the grief of his family, partner, daughter and friends.  Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with them.  We are now focused on offering all the support we can to them and to our staff.

We ask that you please respect the privacy of his loved ones and colleagues at this extremely difficult time.

We also wish to record our thanks to all the security professionals, other responders and concerned bystanders who supported and helped evacuate our staff as well as those of our partner organisations based in the same complex.

Thanks also to those who have offered support and messages of condolence - these are deeply appreciated.

We are grateful that our other colleagues are safe.  We are now coming together as a family to mourn and to support each other over the coming days, weeks and months as we try to come to terms with these traumatic events.