Ellen Lutz, former Executive Director for the Center for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution and for the last six years or so Executive Director of Cultural Survival, has died. I received this rom Cultural Survival:
We are deeply saddened to report that Cultural Survival’s executive director, Ellen Lutz, died on Thursday, November 4, after a long battle with breast cancer, surrounded by her husband, Ted Macdonald, and her children, David and Julia. She was 55.
Ellen’s contribution to Cultural Survival is beyond measure, and we all had enormous affection for her personally and respect for her professionally. She will be sorely missed, but her influence will shape all our work for many years to come.
Ellen’s six-year tenure at Cultural Survival was part of a lifetime of human rights work that included positions with the Center for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution and Human Rights Watch, teaching at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and books on subjects that ranged from consequences of torture to trying heads of state for human rights violations. It would be impossible to put a number on the thousands of people helped by her efforts, but small measure of her impact is found in the flood of emails from every continent that have been pouring into Cultural Survival’s offices since news of her passing has spread.
She faced her death as she lived her life: with unbending dignity and unflinching courage. Even while suffering the depredations of cancer she continued to work at Cultural Survival until three months before her death, and after stepping down, she continued to be engaged with the organization from her bed. That level of dedication is emblematic of her whole life, which she spent making this world more like the one she assuredly now occupies.