A Tribute to Jeffrey

Last week, the Franklin family team of Blogging While Blue lost their cousin Jeffrey Haskins while he was working in Kenya. He died of a heart attack. Jeffrey was one of the diverse, bright and insightful contributors to Blogging While Blue. His blogs ranged from a popular post on R&B singer Frank Ocean’s revelation that he was bisexual to the compelling story of an African woman who faced some difficult personal choices. Jeffrey will be greatly missed by his family and friends as the article below illustrates. Through his work as a public relations consultant to not-for-profits in Africa, Jeffrey was able to share the stories and plight of poor people around the world who are too often overlooked in media.

As a tribute to him, we are reposting his contributions to Blogging While Blue at the end of this post.  Also, below is a blog post about Jeffery from his employer Burness Communications. 

The Burness Communications family is deeply, deeply saddened and profoundly pained by the way-too-early death of Jeff Haskins, our personal friend and extraordinary colleague of nearly nine years. For four of those years, Jeff led our efforts on the ground in Nairobi, Kenya, and across Africa for BurnessAfrica. He traveled from Indonesia to Mexico, and most places in between, spreading the message of possibility and hope for agricultural research as a vital tool for the world’s most disenfranchised people.

Jeff was a one-in-a-million talent. He was a “rock star” in every room he entered. He was a confidante and source to reporters the world over who covered global development through the lens of the farmer, the indigenous protector of forests, the scientist devoted to sustaining crop diversity, the advocate fighting to feed the world, the poorest of the poor utilizing new strategies to simultaneously feed themselves and enhance their livelihoods. He knew how to tell their stories and to persuade journalists and policy makers to listen. He was their voice.

Jeff touched every single person he worked with in an outsized way. He was a mentor and friend, universally understood to be tireless, brilliant, magnanimous and funny as hell.

We will carry his vision and legacy forward, stunned that there is a “legacy” associated with a vital, charismatic, super-skilled 32 year-old person whose passing leaves us so sad.






  1. Myka Barbato says:

    So sad to lose such a wonderful person at such a young age. The family is in my prayers!

  2. Lynnette Young says:

    May his family and colleagues continue to feel his presence and strive to preserve his legacy.
    Lynnette Young