Gatsby programmes director killed in Nairobi terror attack

Luke Potter, Africa programmes director for the international development charity, was among 21 victims on 15 January and leaves a partner and a daughter

Luke Potter
Luke Potter

The British man killed in this week’s terror attack in Nairobi was a programmes director for a UK-based international development charity, it has emerged.

Luke Potter was Africa programmes director at Gatsby, a charity set up by Lord Sainsbury in 1967 to work in areas including African development, the arts, education, plant science and neuroscience.

Potter was among the 21 victims of the terrorist attack at a hotel and office complex in Nairobi on 15 January that is believed to have been carried out by the Somalia-based extremist group Al-Shabab.

In a statement, Gatsby said Potter joined the charity three-and-a-half years ago and had been working on assignments across east Africa.

"Luke was respected by all he worked with, bringing huge drive, determination, a relentless work ethic and a thirst for new ideas to every project," the statement said.

"He brought a calm head and his unique sense of humour to every situation. He was deeply committed to his work, to his teams, to Gatsby and to development in Africa. He was our colleague and our friend.

"We share the grief of his family, partner, daughter and friends. Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with them. We are now focused on offering all the support we can to them and to our staff."

According to the Gatsby website, Potter had been working in economic development since 2008.

His profile on the website says that he strongly believed "in the need for societies to offer as equal an opportunity as possible to all, and that, while economic competitiveness is essential to build a country, long-term stability is not achievable unless the gains are widely spread".

The Foreign Office said it was providing support to Potter’s family and friends.

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