Simone Amber Vice President Schlumberger Limited
- l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques
- Master of Business Administration
- INSEAD, Fontainebleau,France
Fields of Work
Finance, Investor relations, communications
Areas of interest outside work
Tennis, yoga, study of languages
"For me SEED is a source of joy, pride and sharing."
Journey from one continent to another then to cyberspace...
I was born in Beirut, Lebanon and ever since I remember was bilingual in French and Arabic.
I loved ballet which I started at age 4 and continued to later reach professional level in Paris. I enjoyed being on stage despite the stage fright. I also loved athletics where I was lucky enough to be a very fast sprinter. Unfortunately this ended when I injured my ankle when I was 13 and I had to chose so I focused on dancing only.
My desire and determination to experience Western culture and to broaden my perspective and world view took me to France, where I finished high school and took ballet classes with a terrific teacher from the Kirov (Saint Petersburg) in a very old part of Paris. The ballet classes were accompanied by Russian pianists in a room with a high ceiling and hand painted beams.
I graduated from l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques where I learnt a great deal about subjects as diverse as history, law, economics and finance. From there I moved to Fontainebleau,France, a charming town 100km south of Paris where I graduated with an MBA from INSEAD, a European business school. That was a stimulating and challenging environment with people of various ages, nationalities, and educational and professional experience.
My first job was with the Chase Manhattan Bank in Paris and in London. I decided to join this American company because I felt that they were more open to hiring and retaining women.
The third leg of my journey brought me to New York in 1985: my last Paris address was "quai de New York", was that a coincidence? I ended up moving from the banks of the Seine where I could see the river and the Eiffel tower from my window to Brooklyn Heights in New York City where my apartment overlooks the harbor and the statue of Liberty. I thrive on light, open space and water.
It was in New York that I joined Schlumberger. I started in Finance, became Treasurer for North America and worked on corporate finance projects while becoming a mother. After my second son was born I became Director of Communication and Investor Relations, and then Vice President for Marketing and Communication in the Test & Transaction group of Schlumberger. During that period I started the SEED project in my "free time"…
Since June 2001 I have been Vice President Schlumberger Limited devoting all of my time to SEED.
I no longer dance but I do enjoy tennis and yoga whenever I get a chance. I speak 3 languages fluently and three others poorly. I enjoy learning languages because of the music of each language, also it allows me to communicate in a more direct way with the people of that country and better understand their culture. Wherever I go around the Mediterranean if I can manage a few sentences, then people take me for a local and I love it. I love exploring countries, meeting the people, sharing a meal with them and discovering their places of worship, sites of natural beauty and the market place with its very unique smells, sounds, goods and activity.
SEED was born out of a deep sense of the increasing interdependence of all people. I believe that education is a pillar of democracy. You can never lose it and it is your wealth that you take with you wherever you decide to go or are forced to go. Having lived in very different countries that I got to know intimately I realized how true this is. I have been fortunate in my life and I felt that I wanted to contribute to give other children some tools in their education. That strong desire combined with discussions with Professor Seymour Papert (from the MIT Media Lab) and the support of Schlumberger made my dream come true. Slowly we became a small team and the name SEED was born. Now we have volunteers in many countries where Schlumberger people live and work. Technology makes it possible to share Schlumberger people’s knowledge and to connect children from different parts of the world. By advancing education anywhere, anytime, we are building a better world.
For me SEED is a source of joy, pride and sharing.