CHF International profoundly saddened by the loss of colleagues in Pakistan


Mr. Stephen D. Vance was shot and killed on the morning of November 12, 2008, in Peshawar, Pakistan, along with his driver. Stephen and his driver were employees of CHF International. Stephen directed a job-creation and workforce development project in Pakistan, funded by USAID. He had dedicated his life to international development.

At this time, CHF International’s immediate concern is the security of our US and country-based staff and their families in Pakistan. CHF is taking all necessary steps to ensure their safety.

“We are profoundly saddened by the tragic loss we have suffered in Pakistan,” says Michael Doyle President of CHF International. “These were people committed to aiding the communities of Pakistan and gave their lives in that service. Our deepest sympathies go out to their families and colleagues.”

CHF International Mourns the Loss of One of its Own

Stephen D. Vance, who directed CHF International’s USAID-funded job creation and workforce development project in Pakistan’s FATA region, was a devoted professional, husband and father. He will be sorely missed by everyone at CHF International and by the many people with whom he worked around the world.

Stephen came to CHF with more than twenty years of experience managing programs in developing countries, including Mongolia, Afghanistan, Russia, Armenia and Zaire. His strengths lay in his dedication and ability to motivate and forge tight relationships with his colleagues. Combined with his lifelong work ethic and his heartfelt commitment to improving the lives of people in the countries and communities whom he served, Stephen D. Vance was a consummate professional of the highest integrity. His loss is a tragedy for CHF International and a tragedy for the people of the FATA region of Pakistan for whom he gave his life.

“We are profoundly saddened by the tragic loss we have suffered in Pakistan,” says Michael Doyle President of CHF International. “Stephen was committed to aiding the communities of Pakistan and gave his life in that service. Our deepest sympathies go out to his families and colleagues.”

“Stephen strongly believed in the work we are doing in the challenging Tribal Regions of Pakistan. He had dedicated his life to international development. Our sadness is beyond expression and our thoughts and prayers go out to the large family he leaves behind,” says CHF International Senior Vice President Judith Hermanson .

Martin Shapiro, Vice President for Global Operations, spoke of Stephen as a “strong, serious, committed individual who brought his own unique personality to the tasks at hand.”

Bruce Parmelee, CHF’s Director of Global Security, said of Stephen: ‘he was one of the most mature, level-headed individuals I have ever met in my professional life. He endured tremendous pressure with humor and aplomb. He was serious about his work, a true professional who believed in what he did.’

“He was a visionary. A stoic. An unflappable professional. He was so incredibly committed to what he was doing in FATA – getting young people jobs in a place where there are very few such opportunities,” says Sarah Henshaw, CHF’s Asia Manager.

CHF Director of External Relations William Holbrook, who worked with Stephen over the years admired Stephen for “his creativity and for the strength of his commitment to development. Stephen really persevered as a leader in development in some of the most difficult and challenging environments and somehow never lost his sense of optimism and hope. He had an unwavering drive to help people help themselves, yet he was never naïve, always viewed the challenges ahead of him realistically and kept moving forward.”


Randy Lyness, Regional Director for Asia and Stephen’s direct supervisor, was struck by Stephen’s focus: “He had an uncanny ability to articulate the vision of his work, not only in terms of the numbers, but in its over-arching long-term goals. He was driven by his commitment to those goals.”

Stephen had fully immersed himself in the community in which he worked. He dressed traditionally and even sent his children to local schools.

Stephen was a native of California. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a DEA in East European History from the University of Paris.
He is survived by his wife and five children.

If you wish to add your own tribute to Stephen D. Vance to be published on the CHF website, please email


What a lost to humanitarian world.  Humanitarian workers had been the soft target by the militants and separatists everywhere in the world.  They shouldnt do that.  The one that they are fighting is the American military – those with guns not American Humanitarian / volunteers.  They are in your country to support peace and development programme.  I condemned the killing of Mr. Stephen D Vance and his driver. 



Filed under Bencana Manusia, Humanitarian

5 responses to “CHF International profoundly saddened by the loss of colleagues in Pakistan

  1. Hi!

    This is Karim Khan, pen named Ernest Dempsey, a writer from Peshawar. I read about Stephen’s assassination in the newspaper and felt so sorry for the tragedy. I am now writing a brief news of the sad event. I didn’t know Stephen but the cause he was pursuing seems to be a great humanitarian effort. Indeed, his loss will be suffered by thousands and thousands of people who are helplessly caught in the chains of poverty, ignorance, and misery. Please convey my condolence to Stephen’s family/friends.

    Best Regards


  2. shahrulpeshawar

    Hi Karim

    They shouldnt killed humanitarian. I really dont understand why they need to kill him.


  3. Hizbullah

    I am Hizbullah and working in the said project FDP-LD,I was working with hims since start of project,and I am Finance Officer/Cashier,I cant forgoten him,he was so nice and honest person,I have 6-7 seven years exprience in the Development sector,but I did not see like him.

    I remember his words,that whenever I converting USD to RS in open marketing,he telling” HOW MUCH WAS THE EXCHANGE RATE”I told hime one day $1 is Rs.85 and he told me “It is not good for You people and for Pakistan,why it happning” He was keeping Care of every body,

    He gave his lifer for the betterment of our FATA people and improving their lives and standared lives.

  4. Mie Vance

    I would like to add that he was a great father. The best least to say.

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