September 18, 2019
WASHINGTON, DC -- The Washington Institute for Near East Policy mourns the loss of beloved colleagues Mary Kalbach Horan and Gina Vailes whose passion, warmth, and generosity will be dearly missed. These longtime Institute professionals passed away within four days of each other after long and hard-fought battles with cancer.
Mary, the director of publications, joined the Institute in 2008 and imbued the organization’s publications with clarity and elegance. “She made everything she touched better - better to read, better to look at. We are all beneficiaries of her wisdom and creativity,” Executive Director Robert Satloff said.
Before joining the Institute, Mary had worked on a variety of topics in publishing: fiction, nonfiction, scientific, software development, and telecommunications. More broadly, she also worked in the publications world as a type compositor, graphic artist, and website designer. In addition, Mary was an accomplished musician and artist, as well as an avid gardener and dog lover.
Gina was the Institute’s administrative assistant since 2005. Known as the warm, selfless gatekeeper of the Institute, she was dedicated to helping others, staff and visitors alike. From guiding interns and Institute newcomers in the ways of Washington, to making sure that hundreds of events went smoothly, Gina touched the lives of countless TWI scholars, staff, and guests. “She was committed not just to our mission but to the well-being of everyone who walked through our doors,” Executive Director Robert Satloff and Managing Director Michael Singh wrote.
The entire TWI family sends its deepest condolences to Gina and Mary’s family and friends on their passing.