Alex Duval Smith Memorial Fund

Alex Duval Smith earned the respect of her colleagues everywhere for the risks she took covering wars in Africa, and the compassion and intelligence of her in-depth stories on politics and human affairs.

Alex passed away in 2019 after an 18-month battle against cancer. To honor her life and her own great generosity,  the Alex Duval Smith Memorial Fund is being established to aid women journalists in crisis throughout the world.

This is vital today, as more than ever women journalists and photographers continue to risk their lives in dangerous places to tell the stories of people threatened by war and devastation.

Your generous donation will be distributed by the Emergency Fund of the International Women’s Media Foundation.

Donate to the Alex Duval Smith Memorial Fund

About Alex

From 1998 until her cancer diagnosis in 2018, Alex was a foreign correspondent based in South Africa, Mali, Ivory Coast, and Senegal, from which she reported for The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent, the BBC, Radio France International, and France 24.

Alex experienced war close up. In Sierra Leone, an eye-witness she was interviewing was killed. In the Democratic Republic of Congo and Lesotho she narrowly escaped being lynched by mobs. She was banned in Zimbabwe and received a direct death threat in Mali.

But Alex covered more than just violence. She was well known for stories of ordinary people, most famously “Mali’s Most Dedicated Postman” for the BBC.

Her war experience led to her being invited to be a senior fellow at the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma (DART), a resource for journalists who cover conflicts around the world.

Alex died in December 2019 in Paris, of complications during her fight against cancer.

Alex was strikingly modest, never grandstanding or drawing attention to achievements that others would have trumpeted from high places. She managed to combine forthrightness and a fierce determination to do what was right with a persona that was gentle and steadfast in its warmth.
Gavin Rees Senior Advisor for Training, DART