In Remembrance of Dr. Peter Salama

Many of us in emergency nutrition field were shocked to hear that Dr. Peter Salama passed away last week.  Peter died suddenly and unexpectedly of natural causes. He was 51 and leaves behind his wife and three children. At the time of his death, Peter, a medical epidemiologist from Australia, was working as Executive Director of World Health Organization’s (WHO) Division for Universal Health Coverage – Life Course. Peter joined WHO in 2016 as the Executive Director of the Health Emergencies program, which he led until 2019. Prior to WHO, Peter was Regional Director for the UNICEF Middle East Office.

Peter was a great soul; a brilliant epidemiologist with a strong experience in nutrition. Peter had a commitment to humanitarian work.  I was fortunate to have had a number of interactions with Peter throughout my career. In every interaction, Peter was unfailingly helpful, kind and patient.

I first met Peter in 2000. Peter was working at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta in the Refugee Health Branch.  I was at USAID and asked and funded CDC to send assistance to the humanitarian crisis in Gode, Ethiopia to oversee therapeutic feeding programs with UNICEF  Peter volunteered along with Dr. Paul Speigel. I remember it was difficult to arrange for them to travel, and throughout the stops and starts of this mission Peter was graciously patient with me. It was this mission where Peter and Paul did the pivotal work that changed how the international community ran therapeutic feeding centers (Salama, P. et. al. JAMA, August 1, 2001—Vol 286, No. 5). It is my opinion that this work spurred the innovation of Community Managed Acute Malnutrition (CMAM)

I had several other interactions over the years, always seeking confirmation of some perplexing nutritional data issue in Darfur, or in Afghanistan, and meeting him in the field in Africa. I considered Peter as the authoritative and final word on nutrition and humanitarian data questions.

His death is a loss to all of us, especially the victims of famine, drought and humanitarian crises.

See also: A Tribute to Peter Salama, a Champion of People in Fragile States and War-Torn Places

WHES Loses a Key Board Member




Linda Crandall Worthington, 87, of Chevy Chase, MD, passed away on Sunday, October 20, 2019.

Over her lifetime, Linda was involved with a number of organization that serve the poor and hungry, including the World Hunger Education Service. Information about Linda has been drawn from her own Bio on our website.

Linda’s relationship with the World Hunger Education Service started at the beginning of WHES. In the 1970s, she worked with the founder of WHES, Pat Kutzner, on hunger seminars and publications, including editing several of the earliest print issues of Hunger Notes. She became a member of the Board of Directors in the mid-1990s and served as a Board member until 2017, and Emeritus thereafter. She was Board Secretary for most of that time. She edited and contributed articles for Hunger Notes. Her experience in a variety of situations where hunger was important, her experience in editing and publishing, her warmth and collegiality, and her ability to see a way forward for a small organization, played a major role in WHES’ existence and development over the years.

Most of the positions Linda held over the years have dealt with hunger and poverty in one form or fashion. These included:

In the 1990’s:

  • As senior editor for the now defunct DIVERSITY magazine, a publication on biodiversity that dealt a lot with agricultural research.
  • Co-director of the International Voluntary Services, an overseas development organization that placed volunteers in other countries.
  • Administrator for a small advocacy group called the Campaign to Oppose the Return of the Khmer Rouge (CORKR).

During the 1970s, Linda worked for the Center for Science in the Public Interest. One of her most notable efforts was organizing and holding a seminar on Capitol Hill to look at food and hunger issues, based on the book, Food First, by Frances Moore Lappe. The conference included several congressmen as well as other prominent speakers on various aspects of the issue.

For 14 years, Linda lived overseas as a foreign service wife, in Vietnam from 1962-1965, then in Thailand for eight years. She later found out Dan Shaughnessy, a former WHES Board Chair, was also in Vietnam at that same time. She was also Dakar, Senegal, with her husband and remained there until his death in 1981.

For the past twenty years, Linda had been a writer/editor for the United Methodist Church’s Baltimore-Washington regional office and wrote stories and articles for the bimonthly newspaper, the UMConnection, for the Web site, and was editor and writer of the weekly e-connection.

Linda was employed occasionally as an editor and did several projects one place or another.

  • In Senegal she worked as the administrative assistant and coordinator for a large multi-country nutrition project that brought together officials from several francophone countries to talk about “nutrition planning.”
  • She researched and wrote on the effects of the sale of Nestle products on poor people. Her work took her into the worst slums of Bangkok to interview women.

Linda had received her B.S. in Social Work and English from Kalamazoo College, and her M.A. in Theology from Wesley Theological Seminary. Linda started more graduate work at Michigan State in Anthropology and Sociology but went overseas before writing the dissertation.

She is the mother of four grown children. Linda was an active member of a United Methodist Church, held membership in the United Methodist Association of Communicators and the Religious Communicators Association and was vice president of the International Voluntary Services Alumni Association. In  2019 she was awarded the Harry Denman Award for Evangelism.

Linda traveled to more than 35 countries in five continents, many of which were work missions. Some of Linda’s leisure time was spent as a member of a league of duckpin bowlers.

Linda’s contributions to World Hunger Education Service were innumerable and will she will be dearly missed by those who worked with her at World Hunger Education Service, as well as many other who are working to address hunger and poverty.

A link to Linda’s obituary may be found here.