judgeBui Simon
biography

Bui Simon, a native of Thailand, is an American philanthropist, former Miss Universe, UN Goodwill Ambassador and Civic Leader. Simon graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from Pepperdine University in 1996. In 2002, Bui Simon created Angels Wings Foundation International, a non-profit organization aimed at assisting the underprivileged children of her native country of Thailand. Since its inception, Angels Wings has built schools, provided educational scholarships, healthcare, and many other critical services for the youth in Thailand. Under the careful guidance of native Thai philanthropist, Bui Simon, Angels Wings continues to address the evolving needs of the country’s young and vulnerable citizens with increased educational opportunities and various forms of aid. Prior to founding Angels Wings Foundation, Bui Simon spent fifteen years actively involved in philanthropic work. In 1988, Bui Simon established a fund to help the needy children of Thailand. That same year, Simon advocated the Rights of the Child bill in front of the United Nations as Thailand’s Goodwill Ambassador. In the mid-1990s, Bui organized a 10-city charity national concert tour that raised enough funds for food, new schools, and the construction of a pediatric AIDS Wing for a rural hospital for Thai children with medical needs. In recognition of her efforts on behalf of the nation’s people, King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand awarded her with a Thai Royal Medal of Honor. In 1996, while working as a journalist, Bui Simon became an anchor on the esteemed television news program 60 Minutes II, and appeared on Television Broadcasting Corporation Channel 7 in Thailand. In response to the December 2004 tsunami in South East Asia, Bui Simon raised funds to aid those affected by the natural disaster. In addition to providing a fleet of boats, building schools and new playground equipment and providing support for orphaned children, Angels Wings Foundation constructed 100 new homes in just three months. A persistent advocate for children and education, Simon developed the Bui Simon Thai Endowed Scholarship Fund along with her alma mater, Pepperdine University in 2008. This scholarship opportunity allows Thai college students to visit the United States and study at the Malibu, California institution. As a highly-regarded alumna, Pepperdine University elected Bui Simon to its Board of Regents in 2009. 

 In 2011, Bui Simon accepted a seat on the Board of Governors for the Dream Foundation, a profoundly compassionate organization that grants wishes to terminally ill patients. And for the past 3 years Bui has served on the Board of the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis as a distinguished advisor. Continuing her dedication for education in rural Thailand, in 2014, Bui Simon became a contributing founder of the Teach for Thailand Program. In the following years, Simon has sponsored inspiring educators, adopted schools in need of financial support and donated essential school supplies and technology for the Thai youth with the Teach for Thailand organization. In an inspiring effort to recognize and honor Thai-American students who have demonstrated academic excellence, commitment to their Thai community, heritage connection and desire to continue their education in the United States, in 2017, Bui Simon launched the Angels Wings Thai Scholarship. In 2018, following the success of the inaugural year, Simon expanded the Angels Wings Thai Scholarship search beyond Los Angeles to the entire state of California. And in honor of her 30th Anniversary of being crowned Miss Universe, Simon awarded 30 exceptional rising Thai-American students in California and 30 extraordinary Thai high schoolers in Thailand with the Angels Wings Foundation Scholarship. “An endeavor that began 30 years ago, as a personal mission to increase educational opportunities for the underprivileged children in my native country of Thailand, Angels Wings Foundation has today become a multi country foundation impacting the lives of many Thai youth. I can’t help but feel so proud of the 3 decades I have been able to honor the outstanding Thai youth,” Bui Simon, President AWF Simon currently devotes her time to taking care of her own extended family as well as the underprivileged in Thailand. At least twice a year, Bui Simon flies back to her home country to personally oversee developing projects sponsored by her foundation, Angels Wings.