Ms. Ericka Chambers Norman, 1968 - 2010
Board of Inquiry Officer (USA)
Ericka Chambers Norman, a national of the United States, was serving as a Board of Inquiry Officer for the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).
After graduating from Pomona High School in Los Angeles, California, Ericka studied at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she received a law degree in 1991.
Ericka’s interest in the UN started when she visited a close friend working in Kosovo in 2000. She secured a post in Kosovo with the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) in 2001 before joining the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) in 2003 as a Legal Officer. There, Ericka met her future Liberian husband, Alvin (Curthis Alvin Norman) who also worked in UNMIK. They married in 2004 and relocated to Haiti where they had a baby daughter. Her friends described Ericka as “a devoted wife and mother who passionately embraced and celebrated both roles.”
One of her colleagues said, “Throughout her time working for the UN, Ericka befriended many colleagues from various parts of the world. She took delight in learning about their home countries, their particular culture and food and traveling to many places around the globe including Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Thailand and Dubai, to name a few. She enjoyed cooking and would re-create dishes from different parts of the world to the delight of her friends and family.”
Ericka’s colleague remembered that “she always made an effort to take care of others in the office in ways big and small, whether that meant lending us movies from her extensive DVD collection or making sure that a cab driver whom she befriended drove a number of us home safely during a night of rioting in Kosovo in March 2004.”
“Ericka’s strong spiritual faith, determination, her voice speaking out against injustice, her belief in dreams, her refusal to accept defeat, and her good-heartedness will always live in our memories,” said another. Many others who knew her said “they were very lucky to have been touched by her smile, her laughter and her presence.”
Said a colleague: “She balanced her spiritual faith effortlessly with her logical lawyer’s mind. She was a smart, practical professional with integrity and dedication who looked at issues from a solution-oriented perspective.”
Colleagues and friends always felt like they could go to Ericka to seek advice because she was empathetic and kind-hearted and, regardless of the situation, she always tried to help in whatever way she could and often came up with creative solutions to problems.
“She was a smart, bright shining light. She loved this world that she gave her gift of care, concern and commitment to,” described a colleague.
Ericka is survived by her husband Alvin and her daughter.