For over two decades, Bui Simon has fulfilled diverse responsibilities as a Miss Universe winner, television news anchor, civic leader, and dedicated philanthropist. Crowned the 37th Miss Universe in 1988, Ms. Simon became only the 2nd winner to represent Thailand. She accepted a role as a Thai Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations, advocating on behalf of children’s rights during the 10th anniversary of the International Year of the Child. Her public efforts, including a speech at the U.N., helped secure the 1989 passage of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej, recognized Bui Simon’s sustained efforts on behalf of children’s rights, presenting her with a Thai Royal Medal of Honor.
Throughout the next decade, Ms. Simon continued to advocate for children in need through association with UNICEF and the United Nations Population Fund. She simultaneously pursued a high-profile career as an Anchor on CBS News’ 60 Minutes II Thailand and as a spokesperson for brands, such as Pepsi, Colgate-Palmolive, and Revlon.
Moving to Southern California to raise a family with her husband, Bui Simon remained dedicated to children’s issues. In 2002, she founded the Montecito, California-based Angels Wings Foundation. Following the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, Ms. Simon’s organization provided over $500,000 to reconstruction efforts in coastal Thailand. This resulted in the construction of 100 homes, as well as orphanages and schools. The Foundation also sought adoptive families for children orphaned by the natural disaster. Bui Simon currently guides an Angels Wings Foundation initiative that seeks to provide 60 teaching scholarships over the next 5 years, encouraging future leaders in rural Thailand.
Bui Simon earned a B.A. in Psychology from Pepperdine University in Malibu, subsequently establishing a Thai Endowed Scholarship Fund. The endowment provides opportunities for exceptional Thai students to pursue undergraduate studies at the University. In recognition of her leadership efforts in education, Ms. Simon was appointed to the Pepperdine University Board of Regents in 2010.