Cristin Gadue, Amy Lynn Niebling, and Carmen Urdaneta remembered at tribute service today

Families, friends, and colleagues honor women who dedicated their lives to public service

CAMBRIDGE, MA (MARCH 14, 2005) — Families, friends, and colleagues paid tribute to Cristin Gadue, Amy Lynn Niebling, and Carmen Urdaneta at a remembrance and tribute service today for the three women who died in a plane crash in Afghanistan on February 3. The women were staff members of Management Sciences for Health (MSH), based in Cambridge, MA. The service was held at Boston University’s Marsh Chapel.

Cristin, Amy, and Carmen were working in Afghanistan to communicate the challenges and achievements of the REACH Program (Rural Expansion of Afghanistan’s Community-based Healthcare). MSH began working in Afghanistan in 1972 and, since 2003, has been helping to improve access to basic health services through the REACH program funded by USAID, the US Agency for International Development.

“Too many of us rush through life self-absorbed, with barely a smile. Cristi, Amy, and Carmen each left a trail of joy and energy wherever they lived and worked,” said Jonathan Quick, MD, MPH, president and CEO of MSH. “In a world increasingly filled with division among people, these three young women treated each individual with respect and understanding. They each knew why they got out of bed in the morning, and each night they could look in the mirror and say to themselves, ‘I did something today to make the world a better place.’ They were on their way to becoming the next generation of leaders in their areas of work. Now, their legacy will inspire another generation.”

Today’s tribute service was one of many that have been held in the last month to remember the lives of these three remarkable women, who died working to improve health care access in Afghanistan. Services have been held in their home towns in Kansas, Nebraska, and Vermont as well as by colleagues and friends in Afghanistan, South Africa, Nicaragua and Cambridge.

“I am proud that Cristi was associated with MSH, their international aid work, and the friendship and camaraderie she had with Amy and Carmen,” said Mike Gadue, Cristi Gadue’s father. “These fine young women are representatives of America’s best and brightest; they worked in the lion’s den to advance the cause of improved health care for women and children, and did so with a smile and respect for the host nation they served.”

As a tribute to these remarkable young women, MSH has established a memorial fund, which will be used to further the work to which Amy, Carmen, and Cristi dedicated their lives.

Tax-deductible contributions to the fund may be made online or directed to:
“Management Sciences for Health, Gadue-Niebling-Urdaneta Memorial Fund”

Mailing Address:
784 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4613 USA

For additional information, please contact MSH's Communications Office at 617.250.9500 or

#000000" noshade size="1">
Cristin (Cristi) Gadue
Cristi Gadue
Cristi Gadue joined MSH in 2000, after earning a BA in International Development from Boston's Tufts University in 2000. As a member of MSH's New Business Development Office, Cristi's team developed proposals that resulted in new MSH initiatives in countries that included Afghanistan, Malawi, and Senegal. In 2003, she applied for and won the prestigious Paul Alexander Fellowship, a three-month travel posting that gives US-based MSH employees the opportunity to gain valuable public health field-experience at an MSH field site. Cristi chose to work with the REACH Program in Afghanistan, and she arrived in Kabul in September 2003. At the conclusion of her fellowship, she was offered a permanent position with REACH, and she returned to Kabul in April of 2004. As the Reporting and Communications Officer for REACH, Cristi was responsible for disseminating key program information to USAID. She was managing REACH's internal communications efforts. Cristi, a native of Burlington, Vermont, was 26 years old.

#000000" noshade size="1">

Amy Lynn Niebling
Amy Lynn Niebling
Amy Niebling joined MSH in 2004 as Senior Program Assistant in the Communications Department. She earned a BA in English and Communications from St. Mary's University in San Antonio in 1998 and an MA in International and Intercultural Communications from Denver University in 2004. Amy was recently promoted to Communications Associate, where she was part of a team responsible for developing and steering MSH's overall communications efforts, including developing media contacts to increase awareness of MSH's global activities. Amy brought with her to MSH extensive experience as a communications professional, having previously worked at Denver's Project CURE; Somerville, MA-based Spectrum Media; and the Institute for Central American Development Studies. Amy was 29 years old and was recently married. The trip to Afghanistan was her first field assignment for MSH. Amy lived in Somerville and grew up in Omaha, Nebraska.

#000000" noshade size="1">
Carmen Urdaneta
Carmen Urdaneta
Senior Communications Associate Carmen Urdaneta began working at MSH in 1999, after earning an MPH in International Health from Boston University in 1997 and a BS in Biology from the University of Kansas in 1994. Carmen worked as a Boston-based Communications Associate for MSH's Family Planning Management Program, before moving to Pretoria, South Africa in 2001 to serve as Director of Communications for the firm's Equity Project. She returned to Boston in late 2003, where she became Senior Communications Associate at MSH. In this role, Carmen was a key member of the team responsible for developing and implementing communications strategies for MSH's various global health programs. She traveled extensively, visiting program sites throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America to capture firsthand the impact of MSH initiatives. Carmen is well known in the global health community for both her writing and photography: her stories have been featured in a variety of publications, and she was a finalist in several photography competitions. Carmen was 32 years old and lived in Brookline. She was born in Venezuela and raised in Kansas.