Press release

WorldFish mourns loss of gender specialist Paula Kantor

WorldFish is saddened to announce the tragic death of our friend and respected former colleague, gender and development specialist Paula Kantor.

Paula died on May 13, in the aftermath of a terrorist attack on the hotel where she was staying in Kabul, Afghanistan.

At the time of her death, Paula was working with CIMMYT, leading an ambitious new project to empower and improve the livelihoods of women, men and youth in wheat-based systems of Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Pakistan. Paula cared deeply about thepeople of Afghanistan and had spent many years there promoting the livelihoods of women and children in her time before WorldFish.

She was a great champion for gender equality and a science leader who was committed, passionate and hard working.

Stephen Hall, Director General, WorldFish: “Paula’s clear vision was a great driver for the gender transformative approach that remains a key pillar in Worldfish’s work. Her commitment to improving the livelihoods of women in some of the world’s most impoverished regions will be her legacy. Paula’s passing is a loss to the whole development community.”

At the time of her death at age 48, Paula had gained many years of experience in the area of gender and social development. She was a well-published, established and respected scientist. Among many noteworthy achievements, she mentored an international non-governmental organization in its efforts to deliver gender programming to women fish retailers in Egypt.

"It is such a tragic, shocking waste of a remarkable talent,” said Patrick Dugan, WorldFish Deputy Director General and CRP AAS Director.

“Her commitment to gender, and wider social equality inspired the people she worked with. She'll be sorely missed by us all.”

An American citizen from North Carolina, after earning a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1990, Paula earned a master’s degree in Gender and Development from the Institute of Development Studies in Brighton.

She earned a doctoral degree focused on international economic development and gender from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2000, and taught in the Departments of Consumer Science and Women’s Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

From 2008 to 2010, Paula was based in Kabul, working as director and manager of the gender and livelihoods research portfolios at the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU), an independent research agency.

Between 2010 and 2012, Paula worked at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) in Washington, D.C., developing intervention research programs in the area of gender and rural livelihoods, including a focus on gender and agricultural value chains.

For more information:

Contact: Toby Johnson, Senior Media Relations Manager

Mobile Tel: +60 (0) 175 124 606




About WorldFish

WorldFish is an international, nonprofit research organization that harnesses the potential of fisheries and aquacultureto reduce hunger and poverty. Globally, more than one billion poor people obtain most of their animal protein from fish and 800 million depend on fisheries and aquaculture for their livelihoods. WorldFish is a member of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future.


CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food-secure future. Its science is carried out by the 15 research Centers that are members of the CGIAR Consortium in collaboration with hundreds of partners.

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