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Justine Pasek Detailed Biography

Affectionately called Justyna by her Polish name, the daughter of a Panamanian homemaker and Polish engineer lived in Ukraine for one year before spending her childhood in the village of Wużuczyn near Zamość, Poland. After Pasek's mother finished Chemistry studies, the family moved to Panama. Prior to joing the Miss Panama contest in 2001, Pasek worked as a model in television productions and fashion shows. She also planned to complete her degree in Environmental Engineering in New Zealand with her two younger brothers, and later work for the Smithsonian Research Center. Originally the first runner-up in the Miss Universe 2002 competition, Pasek became the first woman to assume the title of Miss Universe when the Miss Universe Organization revoked the crown from then-reigning winner Oxana Fedorova for not fulfilling the duties stipulated in her contract. Thought to be traveling to New York City for a modelling assignment, she was notified of her ascent in the back of a limousine. Prior to a busy week of press engagements, she was formally crowned Miss Universe by pageant co-owner Donald Trump in New York City. A self-described "Citizen of the World," Pasek has since traveled to Japan, Bali, Thailand, Egypt, Aruba, Ecuador, Peru, Cuba, Canada, and the United States. As the first Panamanian Miss Universe, Pasek held the crown and assumed the duties of Miss Universe. She championed the cause of HIV/AIDS and established the first HIV/AIDS prevention center in her country. She worked with the Global Health Council, the Harvard AIDS Institute, AmFAR and the Center for Disease Control’s “Act Now” campaign. Pasek relinquished her crown to Dominican Republic's Amelia Vega in the 2003 competition, held in her home country of Panama. Having worked as a model since 1996, Pasek has since modeled for Christian Dior, among other fashion campaigns.


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