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Simon Henshaw

Ambassador to the Republic of Guinea, 35-year State Department professional, Bromfield graduate

Simon Henshaw. (Courtesy photo)

Simon Henshaw, who honed his communication skills as a young journalist in Harvard, died unexpectedly on June 9, 2020, while serving as ambassador to the Republic of Guinea in West Africa. Born in England, Simon and his family emigrated to the U.S. in 1965 and settled in Harvard in 1967, where he graduated from the Bromfield School in 1978. At graduation he earned a good-citizenship award from the PTA, already demonstrating a lifelong commitment to public service. 

After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Simon started his professional career reporting for the Harvard Post. He worked there while preparing for the foreign service exam, and celebrated with the newspaper staff when he passed. At age 24, Simon joined the State Department and began a 35-year professional career that would span four continents, beginning in Manila, Philippines, and including Africa, Central and South America, and Russia. Throughout his career, Simon represented the best of the American people by promoting democracy, integrity, and justice abroad. As the principal deputy assistant secretary and acting assistant secretary for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, Simon was unwavering in his commitment to provide relief for the most vulnerable and suffering populations—which was not always an easy position to advocate. The president of the Republic of Guinea posthumously nominated Ambassador Henshaw as a Commander in the National Order of Merit for his exceptional service and contribution to strengthening friendship and cooperation between the United States and Republic of Guinea.

Simon is survived by his wife, Jackie; his adult children, Maddie and Sandy; his mother Pam Henshaw of Harvard (his father Jim Henshaw passed away in 2018); his sister Sarah and brother-in-law Ken Johnson; and their sons Sam, Mick, and Jack Johnson. He will be remembered and missed by them, as well as by the countless other friends he made throughout his life.

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