Heather died April 24, 2021, in Philadelphia of injuries she sustained in a bicycling accident. She was 74.

Raised in Roslyn, Long Island, Heather earned a bachelor’s degree in Asian studies from Barnard, a master’s degree in Chinese art and archaeology from Princeton, and a doctorate in anthropology with a specialization in China from Yale. 

Anthropologist, global human-rights activist, and University of Pennsylvania professor from 1981 to 1991, at the time of her death Heather was visiting Philadelphia  before returning to Bangkok, where she worked on projects in China, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos.

She served as a visiting professor at the American University of Paris and was affiliated with Southwest Minzu University and Southwest Jiaotong University, both in Chengdu, China.

Heather’s career included consulting as well as research and development projects with UNESCO and other agencies. She focused on preserving the rights and culture of minorities, preventing human trafficking, HIV/AIDS, and other sensitive issues. She helped protect the right of ethnic minorities and Indigenous people to have control over what happens to them and preserve their culture from potentially destructive development.

Heather is survived by her husband, David Feingold; a brother; and other relatives.

Graduate memorials are prepared by the AGPA.

Graduate Class of 1976