It is with great sadness that the IHRA and its US delegation announce the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Kim Simon.
One of the IHRA’s longest-standing delegates, Kim was active in the IHRA since 2002 and was critical to developing the organization into what it is today. With her clarity of vision and purpose, she inspired all who met her, and welcomed every new member of the team with an approachability and good humor that spread throughout the IHRA.
“Kim was someone I could always turn to and who was always ready to lend a helping hand,” says IHRA Secretary General Kathrin Meyer. “I learned so much from her, from my very first day at the IHRA. I will miss her dearly and will cherish her memory, both as a colleague and friend.”
An expert in Holocaust video documentation and education, Kim understood the importance of collecting and preserving testimony – and its potential for engaging 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation survivors and other new audiences. Her work at the USC Shoah Foundation, which began in 1994, built bridges between survivors, the broader public, and the organization. Most recently, as Managing Director, she tied together many layers of service that included global initiatives, media production, and collection of new testimonies, including the Dimensions in Testimony program and the identification of areas of current conflict, from current Antisemitism to contemporary hate-based violence. In September 2011, Simon was awarded an Alumni Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from her alma mater, Colorado College.
Kim’s dedication to the IHRA made her a key member of the IHRA’s Strategy Implementation Group and in efforts to professionalize the organization, especially its communications. A member of the Communication Steering Committee from 2012, Kim served as Chair of the IHRA’s Communication Working Group in 2017–2018 under the Swiss Presidency. She provided ongoing support for the IHRA’s communication initiatives for many years and served as an incomparable mentor to the IHRA’s communications team. The lessons she imparted left an indelible mark and continue to guide the IHRA’s communications approach. Her counsel will be sorely missed.
Our deepest condolences go out to Kim’s family, friends, and colleagues. Her dedication, warmth, and kindness will be remembered forever. May her memory always be a blessing.