In Memoriam: Kim Simon

Wed, 03/01/2023 - 3:00pm

The USC Dornsife Center for Advanced Genocide Research mourns the death of Kim Simon who for the last decade served as Managing Director of the USC Shoah Foundation. She passed away on February 28, 2023.

Kim Simon joined the USC Shoah Foundation shortly after its founding. In her 28 years at the organization, she played many roles, including international production coordinator while the organization was collecting 50,000 interviews with Holocaust survivors and witnesses. She contributed to training interviewers and later oversaw global partnerships and international programs. She served as Director of Programs and Interim Executive Director before assuming the role of Managing Director.

In recognition of her contributions to Holocaust education and remembrance, she was appointed to the U.S. delegation of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) in 2003. Her alma mater Colorado College, where she earned a B.A. in History, awarded her the Alumni Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 2011.

Kim shared valuable insight, advice, and vast institutional knowledge with the Center's director, team, and Center fellows. "I had the pleasure of working with Kim since the founding of the Center in 2014," said Wolf Gruner, Founding Director of the USC Dornsife Center for Advanced Genocide Research. "She saw the great research potential of the Visual History Archive and was always curious about what scholars were discovering in the testimonies. Since its inception, she supported the Center in multiple generous ways, including sacrificing her own office at one point and moving into a tiny shared office so that our growing team could have a space of its own.” Kim was passionate about finding new ways to communicate the impacts of the Center's work, frequently inviting the Center’s director, team, and scholars to share their work at public events, board meetings, or with distinguished visitors. “We will always be grateful for having worked with her,” Professor Gruner said.

The Center offers our deepest condolences to her family, friends, colleagues, and everyone touched by her work. We will miss her dearly.

Read an article about her life and work authored by the USC Shoah Foundation here.

Read a remembrance by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance here.



[Photo of Kim Simon courtesty of Jeffrey Langham]