About The Nivah Odwori Memorial Scholarship
Whitehead School alumna Nivah Odwori, M.A. ’06, tragically lost her life in the January 12, 2010 earthquake while serving as a district coordinator with the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti. Inspired by Nivah’s life of service, the Nivah Odwori Memorial Scholarship is established in her memory to support the educational pursuits of future Whitehead students who strive to emulate Nivah’s example of servant leadership in a global society.
Answering the Call to Serve
Originally from Nairobi, Kenya, Ms. Nivah Odwori consistently expressed a passion and love for working with people in areas of hardship. Before leaving Kenya for Canada in 1997, Nivah was a volunteer with the Kenya Red Cross Society in Nairobi. Driven by a strong call to empower the world’s poor, Ms. Nivah Odwori enrolled as a graduate student at the Whitehead School of Diplomacy in 2004. She completed an internship with the World Bank in New York, NY and a thesis on conflict resolution challenges in Sudan and India. After earning her M.A. in Diplomacy and International Relations/M.A. in Corporate and Public Communications, Nivah worked with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, including serving as an advisor to its delegation for the 61st session of the UN General Assembly in 2006. She also worked with United Nations Volunteers as a volunteer District Electoral Advisor at the UN Mission in Nepal.
On January 3, 2010, Nivah left her New Jersey home to help hundreds of Haitians recover from political unrest and a recent hurricane. She was one of 222 UNV volunteers serving in Haiti at the time of the earthquake on January 12. Nivah had been offering humanitarian assistance to families in Port-au-Prince and driving a program to stabilize the country’s electoral system.
UNV Executive Coordinator Ms. Flavia Pansieri said, “Nivah was a compassionate and talented individual who had chosen to apply her skills to the cause of peace and development, as a volunteer. She was highly motivated and enthusiastic and this is a great loss to the Mission, her family and her friends.”
Through the generosity of alumni and friends of the Whitehead School, the Nivah Odwori Memorial Scholarship will provide $1,000 scholarships to students who demonstrate financial need, academic excellence, and a strong commitment to service.