Simone Rita Trudo, 1957 - 2010
Personal Assistant to the Principal Deputy Special Representative (France)
Simone Rita Trudo, a national of France, was the Personal Assistant to Luiz Carlos da Costa, the Principal Deputy Special Representative for the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).
Born and raised on the island of Martinique, Simone received her early education at the Lycée de Jeunes Filles in Fort-de-France, after which she studied English at the Community College of St. Michael in Bridgetown, Barbados. She then moved to the United States, where she graduated in 1988 from Heald Business College in San Francisco.
Simone began her 15-year UN career after spending some years in the private sector as a procurement agent in the airline industry with Air France.
She began with the UN Office for Project Services in 1995 in New York and later moved to Denmark for two years to assist in the set-up of their new procurement office there. From Denmark, Simone deployed in 2000 to the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) as a Procurement Assistant.
Simone continued her field work when she joined MINUSTAH in 2004 and she was pleased to move closer to her native Martinique and her family.
According to colleagues, Simone “quickly developed a deep appreciation for the country’s people and its rich culture through the work of Haitian artists and craftsmen.” She formed many close ties with colleagues and coworkers in Haiti and friends described her as “a strong and proud woman who despised unfairness and pettiness – ‘a lion and a big sister’ – whose smile was as big as her heart.” Simone also had a lot of Haitian friends with whom she was active in Haitian social circles and became involved in the day-to-day problems of the needy and poor.
“Simone was not only an international civil servant; she also really was a part of the Haitian people,” her friends said. She personally supported street children with food and education.
Colleagues, friends and family repeatedly spoke of Simone’s “energy, zest for life and her contagious laughter.” One said that “paradise will be a happier place with Simone.”
One close friend described Simone as being passionate about life: “She was well read, cultured, entertaining and brilliant. She loved to cook and did it well. She loved music and dance and she was generous. Simone was a proud Caribbean woman, who loved living in the Caribbean.”
Simone is survived by her siblings Eddy, Jean, Andre, Clemente, Evelyne, Marie Claire and five nieces and nephews.