—By Domani Spero
USAID’s Rajiv Shah released the following statement on the death of USAID officer in Haiti:
On behalf of President Obama, Secretary Kerry and the American people, I offer my deepest condolences to the family of Antoinette “Toni” Beaumont Tomasek, a USAID Foreign Service Officer who died in Haiti on Saturday, June 29, 2013. Toni had been in a car accident on June 26. Toni, age 41, was a Community Health Specialist with an expertise in water, sanitation, and cross-cultural education. She brought years of experience designing and implementing health programs, from working with migrant and seasonal farming communities in the United States to serving in the Peace Corps in Paraguay and, later, in Washington, D.C., as the health lead for the Inter-American and Pacific region.
Toni joined USAID in 2009, completing her first tour as a Development Leadership Initiative Officer in Indonesia, where she established a groundbreaking program that offered grants to local organizations working to prevent and treat tuberculosis. She was also one of the principal authors of Indonesia’s Global Health Initiative strategy, which continues to guide the work of the USAID/Indonesia Mission.
Although Toni only arrived in Haiti in May, she had quickly become a highly valued member of the Mission. She was driven by the passionate belief that individuals can make a difference. Her work helped give Haitians — particularly children — the chance to survive and thrive, and her inspiration will be felt for decades to come.
Fluent in Spanish, Indonesian, French and Guarani, Toni was born in California. She is survived by her husband, Adam and two children: a son, Alexandre, and daughter, Amelie.
Toni’s tremendous passion and enthusiasm reflects the commitment of her colleagues, who will continue to carry her work forward every day around the world. Our thoughts and prayers are with her loved ones in this difficult time.
According to the AP, the July 1 statement was issued after an inquiry from The Associated Press. As of this writing, the US Embassy in Port-Au-Prince has made no statement on the death of a member of a U.S. mission nor has it linked to the official statement from USAID.