In Memory of Utama Sandjaja


It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of our colleague and friend Utama Sandjaja, known as Utama or Sandy.

Utama has been a valued member of our team since May 6, 2019, managing the RWI Jakarta Office as the deputy director.

During his time with us, Utama made a great impact. He had a very impressive set of knowledge and skills about organisational psychology and management. He had a prolific network outside of the organisation and among his merits is connecting the RWI Jakarta Office with the Indonesia Ministry of Law and Human Rights and the Indonesia Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Utama always played an active role in team building and social interaction within our organisation. His calm and patience made him an anchor to our ship. His friends here will miss his good chat and wonderful frame of mind.

Utama had a passion for rescuing abandoned and feral cats, and an interest in doing yoga. He held great love and pride for his family.

He is remembered as a good leader, a good friend, a good father and a good husband.

“Utama brought considerable experience, judgement and conceptualisation to our programmes. His calm efficiency was invaluable to the team, along with an excellent level of political and social analysis. The Jakarta team has received condolences from many people and organisations who knew Utama, which is a testament to his professional profile and that his work remains a legacy. He was always a good company and is remembered for his unpretentiousness, competence and energy.”

– Morten Kjærum, Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute


“Utama was a valued member of RWI’s Regional Asia Pacific Office’s team, who is sadly missed.  From the start of Utama’s role as the deputy director in May, 2019 his experience shone through and his unique personality was something that contributed a lot to the programme and the energy in the office.  He was a good company and someone who I enjoyed spending time with. My thoughts are with his wife, Eka and daughter, Alyssa at this sad time.”

–  Jason Squire, Director of the Regional Asia Office


“We lost a good friend, source of inspiration, and calming force when Utama passed. Since I joined RWI, Utama has been a constant source of knowledge, inspiration and wisdom thanks to his extensive experience and network in the development sector and beyond. On a more personal level, Utama is a good friend to many with his calm attitude, light jokes, and positive energy. His dedication to rescue cats in need illustrates how big his heart is. My thoughts and prayer are to his wife, daughter, family and friends. May Utama rest in peace.”

– Windi Arini, Programme Officer, Jakarta Office


It was with shock and great sadness that the tragic news of Utama’s passing reached me. A colleague very far away geographically, but close professionally, was not with us anymore. He left this world far too early. Utama was a fantastic colleague; a hard-working, professional team-member who was exceptionally humble. Someone as special as Utama will never be forgotten. He will remain in our memories forever. Thanks Utama for everything. I wish we got more time together.

– Andreas Ljungholm, Deputy Director of Programmes


It is an immense loss for RWI, and the Jakarta office in particular. He will be greatly missed, and his memory and impact will remain with us.

Please keep Utama’s family in your thoughts as they go through this difficult time.

May he rest in peace.



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