Roma Knee

On January 6, 2015, Roma Knee died at home surrounded by family and friends in Silver Spring, MD. She would have been 80 on January 29th.

Roma was born in Morgantown, WV, and came to the Washington DC area to attend George Washington University. She traveled extensively in her early career with USAID with postings in Thailand, South Korea and Vietnam. In Washington as a Personnel Officer, Roma was known as a champion of those who needed help in fighting for the right treatment by the Agency.

One of her fans told her about a new job posting in the Latin American and Caribbean Bureau dealing with women issues. Encouraged to leave a field in which she excelled, Roma started a new phase in her career in 1975. Her job would be enlarged to include human rights, democracy and the administration of justice. These areas required a high level of skill in developing projects in countries not always receptive to these initiatives. Roma also work closely with the State Department in supporting these programs. Of all the projects she supported, she was most proud of her work in making possible the establishment of the Inter-American Human Rights Institute in San Jose, Costa Rica. Besides a demanding portfolio, Roma was active in Women’s Action Organization that promoted women’s rights in the State Department, USAID, and the USIA.

During her retirement, she continued to work with her Jazz exercise group and the Faithful Circle and Friendship Star Quilting Guilds where she enjoyed exhibiting her own quilts. Roma is survived by her daughter, Leslie A Knee of Silver Spring, MD.

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