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Human Development &
Capability Association

Agency, Well-Being and Justice

Remembering Tammy Chen Fenaiche

Tammy Chen Fenaiche, a young scholar deeply committed to the values of the HDCA, was tragically killed, along with her husband and unborn son, in a terrorist attack this past summer. A PhD student at Cambridge, Tammy was a passionate woman who changed her life trajectory, moving to Ouagadougou, to set up and manage an NGO.  She was a superlative woman whose steps through life reflect a kind of conviction that few people show, or care to show. Whether she was teaching Canadian Anglophones French, or working with impoverished women to build new pathways to safety, food security and self-sufficiency, Tammy was an embodiment of what the world should be – and of how such change is practiced through the eyes of human development scholars.  She moved against the grain of injustice and inequality, pushing and breaking through boundaries to make mutual understanding and care for others a foundation of a world that we do, in fact, all share.

 Tammy’s family, friends and colleagues at the University of Cambridge hope that her legacy can be well established and remembered. As those of the HDCA who continue to work tirelessly to change the conditions of most of the world, what Tammy lived for should serve as a model of what a human being and an HDCA scholar should be. As HDCA president Ravi Kanbur recently wrote, Tammy’s work “embodied the ideals and aspirations of the Association.”

 For those who are interested and have the means, a contribution to Tammy’s legacy can be made to a legacy fund created by her sister, Tiffany Chen. Please visit:

There will be a commemoration service for Tammy Chen for everyone, whatever their tradition, or faith, or background, in the chapel of Gonville and Caius College (University of Cambridge, UK) from 3.30pm on Saturday 28 October 2017. (Members of the college will be wearing gowns).

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