2013 Speakers

Jean G. Orelien, DrPH, MStat

CEO & President, SciMetrika, LLC

Dr. Jean Orelien is the founder and CEO of SciMetrika, a company that helps government and commercial clients to solve complex population health challenges. Founded in 2001, SciMetrika is an award winning company. In both 2010 and 2011, SciMetrika made Inc. magazine’s list of the Top 500 fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. In 2010, SciMetrika was recognized as a company to watch in North Carolina. In both 2011 and 2012, SciMetrika was named one of the fastest growing companies in the Research Triangle Park (# 2 in 2012). Currently, SciMetrika has more than 120 employees and revenues expected to exceed $20M in 2013.

Dr. Orelien has received a number of personal awards including being recognized by Inc. magazine as one of the country’s top 10 black entrepreneurs in both 2010 and 2011; Distinguished alumnus award by the UNC School of Public Health and top 50 African American in Science and Technology by Black Money. Dr. Orelien received his doctorate of public health in biostatistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his master of statistics from North Carolina State University. He has authored a number of technical and scientific papers and presentations and is a member of the American Statistical Association and the American Public Health Association.

Since the earthquake of January 2010 in Haiti, Dr. Orelien has been active in economic development in his native country. Following the earthquake, Dr. Orelien has put his plans to be involved in Haiti on fast track because of the "fierce urgency of now". He believes that job creations through mid to large scale projects are essential to Haiti success. To this end, he is leading a real estate development project near Lake Azuei also known as Etang Saumatre (the largest lake in the country).

Tatiana Wah, Ph.D.

Tatiana Wah, Ph.D.

Director, Haiti Research and Policy Program

Columbia University

Tatiana Wah, Ph.D., directs the Haiti Research and Policy Program at the Earth Institute, Columbia University. From 2009 to 2012, Dr. Wah was the MDG and Development Policy Advisor to the Government of Haiti. She teaches Development in Fragile States at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs in the Masters of Development Practice Program.

Before joining the Earth Institute, she was a professor of urban policy and development at Milano Graduate School – The New School for Management and Urban Policy, where she thought undergraduate and graduate courses on Comparative Development and Urbanization; Globalization, Immigration and Transnationalism; and International Settlement Patterns. She specializes in regional and local development planning in small developing nations. Her academic, planning, and policy work cover diaspora and homeland development, organizational frameworks for development, value system structures and underdevelopment, integrated development and MDG-achievement planning, capacity building in fragile states, and social contract and vision planning.

She has worked with the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation as the Privatization Program Administrator for the Government of Haiti. She has consulted for Caspian Associates on common national development vision planning for UAE and Caspian region states.

Wah has published several journal articles and two books focusing on Haitian development issues: Haiti’s Development through Expatriate Reconnection: Conditions and Challenges and In Search of Consensus after 200 years: Haiti’s Social System Structure and Development Challenge. She received her undergraduate degree from Brown University in Organizational Behavior and Management, her masters in City and Regional Planning and doctorate in Planning and Public Policy from Rutgers University.


Marjorie P. Brennan, M.D.

Physician specializing in pediatric anesthesiology at Children National Medical Center

Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine George Washington University

Marjorie P.Brennan, MD, is a physician specializing in pediatric anesthesiology at Children’s National Medical Center and an Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at George Washington University. Her particular areas of interest have included muscle diseases of children, publishing book chapters in Essence of Anesthesia Practice, and Progress in Anesthesia as well as several peer-reviewed medical journal articles. She has been active in medical missionary work, volunteering for several trips to Vilnius University Children’s Hospital in Lithuania, and to Sacre Coeur Hospital in Haiti. She is the founder and director of the JDT Foundation, aimed at providing higher education opportunities and reclaiming the environment in Haiti. Locally, she serves as team leader of the Children’s Hospital Junior Operating Room at the NBC4 Health and Fitness Expo.

She received her Bachelor of Science and her MD degree from University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Marjorie has been an active her local community. She serves on the board of Potomac School, and independent K-12 school in Virginia, and is a Sunday School teacher at her local parish. She resides in Virginia with her husband and three children.

Ambassador Paul Altidor

Honorable Paul Altidor

Ambassador, Embassy of Haiti in Washington, D.C.

Ambassador Altidor spent his early years where he was born in Jérémie, Haiti. He attended primary school in Jérémie then studied at the Centre d’Etudes Secondaire in Port au Prince. His family later moved to Boston where he completed his secondary education. Ambassador Altidor received his undergraduate degree from Boston College. He earned an advanced degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and also pursued graduate studies in law and economics at the University of Paris X, in France.

Before taking office, Ambassador Altidor was Vice President at the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund in Washington, D.C.

Ambassador Altidor has an extensive private sector background. As a management consultant, he counseled firms in many countries on corporate governance and responsibility. In the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake Ambassador Altidor led a team of professors and researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Community Innovators Lab down to Haiti. At the request of Haitian authorities, the team provided guidance to reconstruction officials on housing policy and financing.

Prior to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Ambassador Altidor worked at the International Finance Corporation where he advised governments on infrastructure projects and public-private partnerships. He has also worked for the World Bank.

Ambassador Altidor has taught at Ecole Supérieure Catholique de Droit de Jérémie, a law school in his native town of Jérémie, and he is a frequent speaker at universities in Haiti and the U.S.

Saurin Nanavati

Saurin Nanavati

Director of Business Development

Singing Rooster

Saurin is the Director of Business Development for Singing Rooster (singingrooster.org), a direct trade NGO that sources, roasts and sells coffee exclusively from Haiti. Through a transparent trade model, Singing Rooster works with roasters, restaurant chains, convenience stores, foundations, donors, faith based organizations, Haitian diaspora and various NGO partner organizations to support Haitian coffee producers, through simply buying and drinking, delicious Haitian coffee.

Prior to working with Singing Rooster, Saurin managed Root Capital’s Financial Advisory Services (FAS) program. This program compliments Root Capital’s credit services by providing targeted financial management training to 200 rural cooperatives across 14 countries. In this role, Saurin was also responsible for the development of Root Capital’s Coffee program in Haiti.

Prior to working at Root Capital, Saurin coordinated and implemented a mobile phone-based agriculture extension system in Uganda. He also served as a program director at an organic fair trade cotton cooperative in India, as a technical adviser for USAID’s microenterprise development program in Armenia and was a former Peace Corps volunteer in Panama.

Katleen Felix

Katleen Félix, M.Sc.

President, Haitian Hometown Associations Resource Group

Consultant – Finance, microfinance and remittance product design

Diaspora Liaison for Fonkoze

Ms. Katleen Félix has more than a dozen years of experience in corporate finance and more than 20 years experience in community leadership. For 7 years she was the Director of Projects and the Liaison Officer at Fonkoze, the largest microfinance institution in Haiti. She is a founding member of the program and website named Zafèn (www.zafen.org), offering the Haitian Diaspora the opportunity to finance online SMEs and social projects in Haiti.

She has also researched Haitian Hometown Associations (HHTAs) and has put together a database of almost 350 HHTAs and support groups in the USA, Canada, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. Under the Fonkoze Remittance project she organized capacity building and informational and networking activities for the HHTAs in NY, Miami and Boston. She also identified Best Practices for development, with the goal of replicating them with the HHTAs.

Over the years, Ms. Felix has developed skills and experience in project management, business development and strategic alliances, all of which enable her to navigate in the emerging field of capacity building of Small Growing Businesses and Microfinance.

Prior to joining the economic development world, Ms. Felix worked as a Senior Financial Consultant at CGI, a leading worldwide IT and business process services provider in Montréal, where she worked mostly with Bell Canada & Desjardins. In 2005, she joined the Wall Street office of CGI for Proponix (an outsourcing product which provides banks with letter of credit support and business solutions). Prior to CGI, Ms. Felix was a Financial Analyst in Corporate Planning and Analysis at Air Canada.

Ms. Felix is the President and co-founder of Haitian Hometown Associations Resource group - www.haitiresourcegroup.org, participates in a variety of committees, and is therefore well integrated in the Haitian Diaspora community.  In 2006 she was awarded the Young Professional Excellence Award from HEC Montréal for her accomplishments and community involvement. On February 28th, 2009 Ms. Felix was awarded twice for her accomplishments, receiving the Young Professional of the Year Award and the special People’s Choice Award by the Young Chamber of Commerce from Montréal. On March 16th, 2009 she received the Community Leadership Award from HABNET and a Citation from the President of the Brooklyn Borough Hall. She is laureate 2013 of the Black History Month of Montreal.

Ms. Felix holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Finance & International Business from HEC Montréal, the business school of the University of Montréal (www.hec.ca). Ms. Félix speaks French, English, Creole, Portuguese and some basic Spanish. She is married and raising two young boys.

Ludovic Comeau

Ludovic Comeau, Jr., Ph.D.

Professor, DePaul University

Ludovic Comeau Jr, Ph.D., DePaul University and Groupe de Réflexion et d’Action pour une Haïti Nouvelle (GRAHN-Monde)

Dr. Comeau is Associate Professor at DePaul University where he teaches economics. Following two undergraduate degrees from Haiti’s State University (business and law), he traveled to the U.S. in 1991 as a Fulbright scholar to earn masters and doctoral degrees in business and economics. He returned to Haiti in 1997 to work as the central bank’s chief economist and teach at Université Quisqueya until he returned to the U.S. in 2001 to join DePaul. Up to traveling in 1991 he was a teacher of Haitian history and of literature, a school administrator, a promoter, a freelance cultural columnist. While amassing a vast managerial experience in both the private sector (a family business) and the public sector (assistant director for cultural affairs and translator/interpreter at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; director of personnel at the Ministry of Education), he was very involved in humanitarian deeds (the Catholic Church; the Lions Club of Port-au-Prince Central, etc.). He is fluent in Haitian Creole, French, English and Spanish.

Dr. Comeau’s research focuses on the politics of economic growth. He’s published in Eastern Economic Journal, Contemporary Economic Policy, Journal of Haitian Studies, Haïti Perspectives. He’s member of American Economic Association, Western Economic Association International, and Midwest Economic Association. He published his first novel in 2007 (Bâtisseurs du lendemain, Builders of tomorrow). He is working on a second novel, as well as on an essay about Haiti and on a biography of Maurice A. Sixto, Haiti’s best storyteller.

Since the 12 January 2010 earthquake, Dr. Comeau intensified his usual focus on Haiti matters. He’s given numerous interviews to the media (ABC, CNN, WSJ, NPR, etc.), and extensively lectured on Haiti. He participated in many forums of Haiti’s four-million strong Diaspora. He joined GRAHN- Monde (GRAHN-World, think-tank and action group for a new Haiti; http://www.grahn- monde.org/public/?lang=en), an unprecedented Haitian initiative that emerged in Canada one week after the seism, and today that is present in seven countries through two dozen chapters and hundreds of members (professors, researchers, scholars, professionals, practitioners from all walks of life, activists, etc.). In July 2010 he launched GRAHN-USA and GRAHN-Chicago and, few months later, was elected vice-president at GRAHN-Monde.

He is married to Dr. Maude Toussaint-Comeau and is blessed with five daughters.

Johnny Celestin

Johnny Celestin

Deputy Director General

Ministry of Planning

Johnny Celestin is currently the Deputy Chief of Staff at the Ministry of Planning and External Cooperation. His portfolio includes the management of key programs and projects funded by the Petrocaribe funds and the communal investment funds (1.4 Billion gourdes). He also manages various institutional relationships to support the Minister’s strategy and priority policy initiatives.

He has equal experience in the private sector as well as the Not for Profit. He has worked for firms like Accenture and Empire Blue Cross, and Foundations like Robin Hood and Atlantic Philanthropies. He is an entrepreneur that has started a number of successful businesses in the US and in Haiti.

He is an active member of the diaspora. He served on the board of the Haitian Round Table, the Haitian Diaspora Federation and as its interim Executive Director. He was also the Executive Director of the Konbit For Haiti, an advocacy organization. He is an active member of the Harlem community, having served as an executive member of the board of Broadway Housing Communities, which builds affordable homes for women that have experienced homelessness and/or domestic violence. He is a founding member and former Board Chair of the New York French American Charter School (NYFACS) – the first French based charter in NYC, and a board member of the Haitian Roundtable whose objective is to promote civic engagement as well as philanthropic endeavors by Haitian professionals. He served for two years as a member of Community Board (CB) 10 in West Harlem.


Kingsley Aikins

Kingsley Aikins was born and educated in Dublin, attending The High School and Trinity College where he graduated with an honors degree in Economics and Politics. He also has a post graduate diploma in export marketing. He is a member of the Institutes of Exports, Marketing and Linguists (French and Spanish). For 5 years he was the Sydney, Australia-based representative of the Irish Trade Board and IDA Ireland. While there he founded the Lansdowne Club - now one of the largest Irish business networks in the world with over 3000 members. In Australia he also established the Australian Ireland Fund and the Ireland Fund of New Zealand. In 1992, he moved to Boston to take over as Executive Director of The American Ireland Fund. During his time with the Funds over a quarter of a billion dollars was raised and distributed to more than 1200 non profit organisations in Ireland. In 1995 he was appointed President and CEO of the Worldwide Ireland Funds which had activities in 39 cities in 13 countries attended by over 40,000 people. He produced a Philanthropy and Fundraising Toolkit in 2009.

In January 2010, he left The Ireland Funds and established Diaspora Matters a consultancy company based in Dublin which advises governments, regions, cities, companies and organisations how to develop strategies to connect with their Diasporas. He writes and speaks extensively internationally on Philanthropy and Diaspora issues. In 2010 he wrote a report entitled 'A comparative review of International Diaspora Strategies'. In July 2012 he gave the keynote address at the Hillary Clinton Global Diaspora Forum in Washington and launched a comprehehensive Global Diaspora Strategies Toolkit and Website (www.diasporastrategies.com), which look at best practices around the world and make recommendations for countries who want to develop strategies in this area. In May 2013 he Chaired the Global Diaspora Forum in Dublin.

Kingsley is Chairman of Linked Finance, Ireland's first peer-to-peer, crowdfunding company for SMEs.

Kingsley represented Trinity College, the Irish Universities, Vichy (France) and Leinster at rugby. He lives in Dublin and is married to Claire McDonough and they have 3 children.

In 2008 he was awarded a CBE for his services to British-Irish relations.


Fabrice J. Armand

Fabrice Armand is currently one of the owners of GCaribbean Magazine a high end lifestyle publication for men and people in, of and connected to the Caribbean. The magazine explores their interests and indulgences serving as a confluence of their curiosities, style, panache and unabashed revelry and he is the President of Fabrice J. Armand Group a company that helps clients unlock the impossible. His experience in marketing/nonprofit/business development and fundraising began 10 years ago with J and L marketing where he was essential in helping car dealerships attain or exceed their sales goal throughout the US. He worked at St. Johns and O’Melveny Myers where he learned to harness his ability. He then worked as the Marketing Coordinator at the American Civil Liberties Union where he was responsible for the organization’s internal and external marketing and fundraising initiatives. During his tenure at the ACLU, he created with his supervisor the canvassing program that provided an extra 2 million of dollars of revenue for the company.

His expertise also extends to management and Business Development for such organizations as the Thompson Hotel and the Barbados Tourism Authority and the Mayor’s Fund. He has advised the Vice Consul of the Barbados Tourism Authority over the past two years on strategy and ways to increase tourism within the island. His experience was essential in the creation of The Barbados Food Wine and Rum Festival.

Fabrice also has an extensive experience helping create/advise nonprofits. His expertise has translated to such organizations as Joyful Joy Foundation, The Mayor’s Fund, Haiti Cultural Exchange, HAC, and Success for Kids. He helped Miss Black USA Osas Ighodaro create her nonprofit organization, which was a culmination of a 10-year dream to commemorate the passing of her sister Joy from Malaria.

Fabrice Armand also has an extensive leadership background that was developed while a student at St. John’s University. There he served as executive board member of various campus cultural organizations, was a resident assistant and a student orientation leader. The experience he gained while in these roles prepared him to serve as the first African-American President of the Student Government Association at the University. Under his leadership, he managed a $1.2 million dollar budget and oversaw 122 campus organizations.

Mr. Armand recognizes the need to give back through the support of organizations and causes that make a difference in the lives of others. He currently serves on the Haitian Diaspora Federation (HDF) a broad-based alliance of Nonprofit Organizations under one umbrella to amplify the voice of the Haitian Diaspora. In partnership with the international community, the Government of Haiti and other sectors, HDF focuses the Diaspora’s energy and resources on the ongoing relief and the longer-term reconstruction efforts to rebuild a stronger, more vibrant and socially just Haiti. Mr. Armand also is a member of the Board of Directors for Fund Art Now, a nonprofit organization that promotes global discourse on fundamental issues inherent to the human condition. In August of 2011, he was honored and voted as the youngest person to ever serve on the Board of the Haiti Cultural Exchange a nonprofit organization established to develop, present and promote the cultural expressions of the Haitian people. The organization seeks to raise awareness of social issues and foster cultural understanding and appreciation through programs in the arts, education and public affairs.

Fabrice's passion for the arts led him to produce with Stuart Film, Michaela Productions, and Browntown Entertainment the first Broadway play that highlighted the similarities between the struggles of Henry Box Brown (a slave that mailed himself to freedom in 1848 and four Haitian guys who are trying to ship themselves to America). The play received many raving reviews and is currently being considered for several awards.

In November of 2011, with his fellow Board Members, he created the First Ever Haiti Film Festival that displayed movies from directors and producers from France, Montreal, Haiti and the US. In December of 2011, he led a team to Haiti for 21 days in order to shoot the Haiti is ME campaign and Chronicle the economic and social progress that deserves media attention in Haiti.

Mr. Armand received his Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Studies from St. John’s University where he also earned his master’s degree in International Relations. Among his honors include the President’s society - the highest honor bestowed upon a student at St. John’s University, Phi Eta Sigma and Gamma Sigma Alpha

Witnessing the disaster affecting his native country, Fabrice has raised over three hundred and fifty thousand dollars towards relief and rebuilding efforts of Haiti. He continues to focus on fundraisers that not only help his native country financially but also educates people of the intrinsic beauty of the culture and people of Haitian. Within the past year he has focused his fundraising attention on three pillars “Haiti, the arts and children growing up in challenging circumstances” His expertise in fundraising is beyond parallel, he has worked with the Mayor’s fund, Evidence Dance Company, Marcus Graham Project, TR Luxury Group, and Success for Kids. His last fundraiser with the Mayor’s fund raised $500,000 in one night.

In 2012, Mr. Armand received the Black Street Philanthropy Award, The Philanthropy Award for his work with Haiti Cherie from the Haitian Consulate presented by President Martelly. Pinstripe Magazine recognized him as one of 5 top influential people in philanthropy in NY. He also has been featured in the “How to be a Hero” series by the Andrew Goodman Foundation dedicated to the memory of the brave civil rights heroes who gave their lives to the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi 1964.

Mr. Armand is also a dynamic young speaker. He has spoken at many functions ranging from leadership conferences, Universities and black tie events. One of his favorite topics is "Leadership in a Global Community. A discourse on challenging the norms of the past".

Charnette Frederic

Charnette Frederic

West Ward Council Member

Township of Irvington, New Jersey

Charnette Frederic is the West Ward Council member of the township of Irvington, New Jersey. She was elected on May 8th, 2012. She became the first Haitian-American Councilwoman in Irvington and Essex County. Mrs. Frederic is committed and passionate about serving the community. She is married to Joseph Betissan Frederic with one amazing son.

Mrs. Frederic earned an associate degree majored in Biology at Essex County College, 1999. She acquired her Bachelor degree majored in Biology minored in Chemistry at Rutgers University, New Jersey, 2001. Mrs. Frederic obtained a Master in Healthcare Administration (MHA) from Seton Hall University, New Jersey, 2005. She had a New Jersey licensed Nursing Home Administrator. Since 2002, Charnette Frederic is a Senior Scientist at Roche Molecular Systems, a division of Hoffmann-La Roche, Diagnostic Company.

Mrs. Frederic is serving as a Treasurer of Neighborhood Health, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing preventative health awareness to New Jersey community. Since 2008, she is the secretariat of Fondation des Cazaliens D’Outre Mer (FOCOM), a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to helping communities in Haiti, particularly Cazale. She is a member of National Action Network, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Durand Block association, and American College of Health Care Administrator. Mrs. Frederic is serving as the President of the Florence Avenue School Parent Teacher Association (PTA). She is part of Irvington Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). She is also a member of the National Haitian-American Elected Officials Network (NHAEON).

Mrs. Frederic participated to various training including Ready to Run, Campaign Training for Women at the Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University, New Jersey. She founded Charnette Frederic Civic Association, a non-profit organization committed to create opportunities for people to come together to have fun and celebrate the community, coordinate activities, and develop projects to promote community involvement.

Jean Clerisme

Jean Rénald Clérismé, M.A., Ph.D.

Dr. Jean Rénald Clérismé is the former Chancellor for the Republic of Haiti and served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Religions (2006-2008). From 2008-2011, he was a Cabinet Member to the Office of President Rene Preval. As part of his portfolio he was responsible for the bilateral Cuban-Haitian Cooperation overseeing the activities of the Cuban Medical Brigade nationwide. Post-earthquake he served as an appointed member to the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC) co-chaired by President Bill Clinton. Clérismé is currently the President and CEO of the Centre de Recherche et de Formation sur le Comportment Social (CRFCS), a research firm located in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Clérismé was formerly the Ambassador of Haiti to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Trade Center (ITC), the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Geneva, Switzerland; as well as the alternative representative from Haiti to the United Nations Organization for Industrial Development (UNIDO) in Vienna, Austria. Clérismé also served as Ambassador and special Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a delegate to the General Assembly of the Complete Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) in Vienna, Austria. He served as president and co-president of task forces of the WTO on Budget, Finances and Administration Committee on the accounting of contributions, transforming the Swiss Agency for International Trade Information and Cooperation (AITIC) to a non-governmental agency; and he was as a delegate plenipotentiary to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria.

Clérismé is an authority on economics, development and cultural anthropology with expertise on Haitian culture, Vodou, African Haitian religion and peasantry, and Haitian-Dominican relations.

He received his M. Phil. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from Yale, and his field work and thesis focused on Haitian-Dominican relations, with the title of his doctoral dissertation "Migration and Relations of Production in the Dominican Coffee Economy." He completed his B.A. in France; received a M.A. in Anthropology from New York University, and M.A. in Sociology/Anthropology from the State University of Haiti.

In 2006 Clérismé was recognized as a scholar/diplomat and honored as a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Anthropology at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan lecturing on the human cost of free trade. Post-earthquake, Dr. Clérismé was invited to lecture in 2010 at the Harvard School of Public Health and presented on the Haitian Government’s response following the catastrophe titled, “The Public Health Emergency Response to the Recent Earthquake in Haiti.”

Judge Jean Baptiste

Judge Lionel Jean Baptiste

Circuit Court Judge

Cook County

Ninth Subcircuit

Judge Lionel Jean Baptiste

  • Appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court as Circuit Court Judge of Cook County, Ninth Subcircuit, on March 4, 2011

  • 20 years of Legal Experience

  • Princeton University Graduate Class of '74

  • Chicago-Kent College of Law Graduate 1990

  • Elected to three terms and served ten years as Alderman of the Second Ward of the City of Evanston

  • A lifetime of service protecting families and improving communities.

Judge Lionel Jean-Baptiste is a dedicated husband, a father to three children, and a grandfather to three grandchildren. His childhood was spent in Haiti. He moved to Evanston at the age of 14. Lionel made friends fast at Evanston Township High School (ETHS), becoming President of the Student Council and an All-State soccer player on ETHS’ 1970 State Championship soccer team.

Upon graduating from ETHS in 1970, he attended Princeton University where he received his B.S. degree in Political Science. Lionel met his wonderful wife, Lenore, at Princeton. They have been married for 35 years.

After graduating from Princeton, Lionel taught elementary school students in Brooklyn’s Bedford Stuyvesant community. He also taught as an adjunct professor at New Rochelle Community College in New York City. Lionel later became the Director of Special Housing for the New York City Housing Preservation and Development Department, serving the homeless and providing emergency housing.

Lionel and his family moved from New York City to Evanston, and he enrolled in the Chicago-Kent School of Law in 1986. While raising a family and working a full time job as the Executive Assistant to the President of Chicago’s Malcolm X College, Lionel graduated from law school in 1990. As an attorney, he practiced primarily in the areas of Immigration, Personal Injury, Probate, Domestic Relations and Real Estate.

Lionel is currently serving as a Cook County Circuit Court Judge for the 9th Subcircuit, having been appointed by the Supreme Court of Illinois, and sworn in on March 4, 2011. Since his appointment, he has conducted several trials and hearings in the Traffic, Forcible Detainer and Municipal Divisions.

Before being sworn in as Judge, Lionel Jean-Baptiste served for 10 years as an Alderman of the 2nd Ward of the City of Evanston. As an Alderman, he was recognized as a hard worker, a strong negotiator and a voice of fairness and reason. He served on several committees including Economic Development, Human Services, Administration and Public Works, Minority Women and Evanston-based Business Enterprises, Community Development Block Grants, Planning and Development, Rules and other special projects committees.

Due to his hard work on behalf of youth, the Evanston Police Department requested that Lionel be assigned to serve on the Restorative Justice Committee. This committee engages in an alternative conflict resolution approach to help reduce violence.

Lionel is a firm believer in volunteerism within his community. To that end he has served as a Civil Service Commissioner for the City of Evanston. He founded the Evanston Youth Initiative to help young adults stay away from crime and succeed in life. He is a member of the NAACP, his neighborhood association, and the Haitian American Community Association. He is the founder and past Chairman of the Haitian Congress to Fortify Haiti, and a founding member of the Haitian Relief Fund of Illinois. He is also a founder and past president of the Haitian American Lawyers Association of Illinois.

Pascale Elie

Pascale Elie

Pascale Elie holds a BA in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Montreal and specializes in statistical and actuarial analysis. She worked as a statistician and actuarial adviser for various Canadian and Haitian companies, particularly for the Auto Insurance Fund for the State Employees in Haiti. She also participate in launching a start-up insurance company in Haiti, UniAssurance S.A. Currently, she is a consultant for HaitiPay S.A., where she leads the company by proposing and implementing financial product using strategic mobile payment solutions. With HaitiPay, she is also responsible for marketing a mobile wallet service operated by the National Bank of Credit, by developing and implementing distribution strategies and leading elaboration of new products and services related to mobile banking.

Efrain Jimenez

Efraín Jiménez

Executive Director

Federación Zacatecana A.C.

Efraín Jiménez was born in Nochistlán Zacatecas, México and now lives in Los Angeles, CA; He is the Vice-President of The Mexican Network of Leaders and Organizations Abroad, he also serves as the Executive Director of Federación Zacatecana A. C. in Zacatecas México and the Secretary of Projects at The Zacatecan Federation of hometown association in Southern California where he has served two times as Vice-President since 1999. Jiménez is Co-Author of the initiative to have the 3x1 program at a National Level in México. Member of the Advisory Council of Institute of Mexicans Abroad (2005-2007) Member of the International Advisory Committee for the Global Forum on Migration and Development in 2010. He specializes in the integral development and strengthening of migrant associations. He has presented the 3x1 program and shared the experience of Mexican Migrant associations in over 18 countries and participates in  5 meetings organized by the United Nations in New York and Geneva such as the High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development in 2013  to promote equality and social justice for migrants around the world.

Bruno Surpris

Bruno Surpris

Mr. Surpris has over 15 years of experience in the Information Technology field. He is an Assistant Vice President - Manager in the IT Department of Moody’s Corporation, a major credit rating agency. He currently manages a global team of technology support professionals where he continuously strives to improve IT customer service. He has held various roles in the IT field such as systems implementation consulting, application support, application development, and application support management. He began his career at Deloitte & Touche where he implemented customized system solutions for various clients. He subsequently held various technical and leadership roles at McKinsey & Company, AIG, Fortress Investment Group, Barclays Capital, and JP Morgan where he was the Vice President of Private Equity Technology. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and mentoring college students to help them achieve their full potentials. He regularly volunteers his time to give back to the community.

Mr. Surpris received his Bachelor of Science and MBA degrees from the Stern School of Business at New York University. He is a PMP and ITIL v3 certified professional. Mr. Surpris was born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He resides in Baldwin, NY with his wife and four sons. He previously attended the Anthony Robbins “Unleashed The Power From Within” workshop where he literally walked on fire!

Dr. Bernier Lauredan

Bernier Lauredan, Sr., M.D.

The Haitian League, Co-Founder

Dr. Bernier Lauredan, Sr., a Pediatrician and Author of "who is raping the children”, is medical director of Perth Amboy Pedi Docs, P.A., and Senior Attending Physician at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Newark, New Jersey. Dr. Lauredan is also co-founder and current President of The Haitian League, creator of the Haitian Diaspora Unity Congress, co-founder of The Haitian Diaspora Federation, and member of the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the New York and New Jersey Academies of Medicine.

Dr. Lauredan is a past member of the Board of the Newark Urban League, Sate of New Jersey, Lead Advisory Board, the Medical Advisory Committees of Aetna-US Healthcare and Newark Beth Israel Medical/Physicians Credential, and past chairman and chief executive officer of the United Caribbean African Alliance (UCAA). Under his tenure at UCAA, the organization successfully assisted in re-establishing democracy in Haiti and Sierra Leon, and successfully lobbied the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to remove Haitians from the ”List of 4H” as diagnostic criteria for HIV/AIDS.

Fluent in English, French and Spanish, Dr. Lauredan is a graduate of the State University of New York, and is recognized in "Who’s Who in America", "Who’s Who in New Jersey", and is the recipient of the Republican National Committee’s "Gold Medal” and the U.S. Congressional "Outstanding Community Service" award. He has received commendations for community leadership from New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman and U.S. Presidents George W. Bush and William Jefferson Clinton.

Emmanuel Coffy

Emmanuel Coffy

Intellectual Property Attorney

Wall & Tong, LLP

Mr. Coffy is a registered Patent Attorney. His practice emphasizes patent application preparation, prosecution and enforcement in the electronic arts including Business Methods Patents and Design Patents. Mr. Coffy has extensive experience in digital technologies, computer networks and information technologies as well as device physics, which includes semiconductor applications. Mr. Coffy co-invented a device called the “Low Friction Apparatus” which currently has a patent application on file with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). He also has experience in re-examination, litigation support, patent infringement assessment, patentability opinion letters, cease-and-desist letters, demand letters and due diligence. Mr. Coffy also advises clients on intellectual property licensing, trademark, trade secret, copyright and related unfair competition/deceptive advertising issues.

Following law school, Mr. Coffy was a patent examiner at the USPTO in the Computer Networks Technology Center. Mr. Coffy was an intellectual property attorney for Cozen O’Connor in Philadelphia and The Farrell Law Firm in Uniondale, New York. Currently, Mr. Coffy is an associate intellectual property attorney at Wall & Tong, LLP in Eatontown, NJ. He has a wealth of electrical engineering experience. As an electrical engineer, Mr. Coffy worked in different design capacities for companies such as L3 /Honeywell/Allied Signal and Lucent/Avaya in New Jersey, Square D Company in Raleigh, North Carolina and Computer Sciences Raytheon at Kennedy Space Center in Florida (NASA).

Luckner Bayas

Luckner Bayas


Luckner Bayas began his professional career in 1978 as an intern with a small engineering firm in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After graduation in 1981 he joined a large corporation in Boston as a structural engineer. For six years he was assigned to the duties of analyzing and designing various structural components of nuclear power plants. He left briefly in late 1985 to work back for the same small engineering firm by assisting in the design of various commercial, institutional and residential buildings. But a year later he rejoined again the same large corporation to assume higher duties.

From 1988 through 1992, Bayas worked in municipal governments rising from Assistant Town Engineer to Town Engineer/Assistant Superintendent of Public Works. In that capacity he was responsible for reviewing proposed subdivision plans including roadway layouts and profiles, utilities and drainage, traffic layouts etc, site plans with subsurface sewerage systems and assisting building department, town commissions on complex technical issues. As Chief Engineer, he oversaw numerous public works infrastructure improvement projects, including new addition to sewerage treatment plant, waterworks, reconstruction of various town roads, landfill, etc.

In 1993, Bayas took a position as a Senior Civil/Structural engineer with the State University System in the western part of the State. In that capacity, he provided managerial construction oversight for various infrastructure improvement projects on the 116 acre campus. A year later, he returned back to Boston to establish his private engineering practice.

Since founding Bayassociates, Bayas has been providing engineering services to numerous private developers and public sector clients including municipalities and government agencies at the Local, State and Federal levels. His daily activities include supervising, reviewing the work of office personnel and performing administrative, managerial functions.

Mr. Bayas holds a Master of Science in Structural Engineering from the University of Lowell’92, a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Northeastern University’81, and is a Registered Professional Civil Engineer in the State of Massachusetts. He has been a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers since 1982 and a past Chairman of the Minority Affairs Committee of the Boston Society of Civil Engineers. He was the recipient of the BSCES President’s Award for outstanding outreach achievements in 1998.

Since the devastating January 12, 2010 earthquake, Bayas has participated at many Diaspora forums and has written extensively about the reconstruction of his motherland. Among his publications are: Focus on Haiti (2010); Essay on the Reconstruction of Port-au-Prince (2010); The Ajoupas (2010); Focus on San Souci (2010); Conjectural Plans for the Redevelopment of the Cities of Cap Haitien, Les Cayes and Gonaives (2011); A 3-Part Series On the Importance of Infrastructure (2012). His call of conscience “The Engineer and his responsibilities”(2011) led to the formation of CIASTH (Congres des Ingenieurs, Architectes, Scientists and Technologues Haitiens) in 2013; an umbrella entity aimed at regrouping all regional Haitian architectural and engineering organizations worldwide to advocate for the same goal and to assume their social responsibility toward the Haitian communities.

Manolia Charlotin

Manolia Charlotin

Manolia Charlotin, a journalist and thought leader in public policy, is the Editor-in-Chief of The Haitian Times, a leading source of digital news and commentary for Haitians living abroad. She is the former Editor and Business Manager of the Boston Haitian Reporter. Ms. Charlotin has been a featured news commentator on several programs including Al Jazeera English, France 24, NPR and The Kojo Nnamdi Show on American University Radio (WAMU), providing analysis on Haiti and the African diaspora, women’s affairs, media diversity and politics.

For the two-year anniversary of Goudougoudou, Ms. Charlotin penned the essay, "The Haitian Diaspora: Supporting Reconstruction From the Centers of Power", for the acclaimed anthology "Tectonic Shifts: Haiti Since the Earthquake" – edited by Dr. Mark Schuller and Pablo Morales. She has delivered remarks regarding U.S. policy on Haiti’s development and post-quake reconstruction at congressional hearings and briefings; and has served as guest lecturer at numerous international conferences and universities. Ms. Charlotin has served on numerous boards and now sits on the board of Haitian dance company, Jean Appolon Expressions.

Jane Kellum

Jane Kellum

Ms. Kellum holds a Bachelor of Arts, Summa Cum Laude with honors, in Political Science from Tulane University and a Master in International Relations, High Honors, with a concentration in Economics, Development, and Cooperation from the Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires, Argentina where she was a member of its sixth Rotary Peace Fellowship class. Ms. Kellum currently holds the post as Program Director for Partners in Learning/Education and formerly was the Education & Gender Advisor for CARE in Haiti. Her career path has included leading anti-trafficking and education rights initiatives in Argentina and Senegal and coordinating education programs through Multnomah County, Portland Public Schools, and the U.S. Department of Education in Portland, Oregon. Jane also served as a Youth & Women’s Empowerment Advisor with the Peace Corps in Guatemala where she simultaneously co-founded with Portland State University a short-term study abroad program, "Connecting Educational Communities", which focused on strengthening bilingual education rights in schools in rural Guatemala. Complementary to her non-profit career, Ms. Kellum is lead singer/songwriter of the band JKDC which seeks to fuse music with social justice issues.

Joseph Bernadel

Major Joseph Bernadel, US Army (Ret.)

Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer

Toussaint L’Ouverture High School for Arts & Social Justice (TLHS)

Joseph Bernadel was born in Haiti, where he completed his schooling at the Institution St. Louis de Gonzague. He emigrated to the US in 1975 and soon joined the US Army. He retired as a Major from the US Military in 1997 after 22 years of worldwide sensitive military assignments, which included positions as Attaché Militaire in Haiti and Mozambique.

He is fluent in five languages: Creole, English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish. As TLHS cofounder, Major Bernadel is the first person of Haitian ancestry to have opened a public school in the United States.

In October 2002, the school launched Haiti Museum of Arts & Culture. The Museum honors the culture of the Haitian Diaspora and will serve as a repository of the oral traditions of the Haitian people in Delray Beach and surrounding communities. In 2010, Major Bernadel was appointed by Haiti’s President Preval to serve as the Diaspora representative on the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission (IHRC). Today, Major Bernadel is the President of the Haitian Diaspora Federation (HDF) a conglomeration of Haitian organizations working to continue the reconstruction of Haiti.

He has served as a national trainer for the Anti-Defamation League of Palm Beach County, Florida, and he was the winner of the Toussaint L'Ouverture Distinguished Service Award in 2007. He was instrumental in having May declared Haitian Heritage Month as proclaimed by the Office of the Governor of Florida, the Palm Beach School District and the Delray Beach City Council.

Joe Bernadel holds the Bachelor of Science in Administration from the University of Hawaii and has completed his graduate studies at the University of Florida in Latin American and Caribbean Affairs. His current professional priorities are to build institutions honoring the presence and contributions of people of color in South Florida and to enhance their welfare through education, political advocacy, and economic opportunities.

Hans Roy

Hans Roy

Born in Haiti, in 1958, a few months before my 11th birthday, I migrated to the US and have been ever since! From early on, I had an interest in political issues, which propelled me, to get myself acclimated with the spirit of the time, a spirit that embodied hope and profound change! I attended Catholic schools from the age of 5 till the age of 15, my sophomore year of High school, was my first public school setting and living in Brooklyn at the time, and attending Erasmus Hall, it was for me, a rediscovery of my "Haitianhood", for those two years, the social affects were much greater than the educational ones.

In College, though my studies, were to be in the sciences, very early on, I discovered my field of interest, were none other than the social sciences! After having spent 3 years of college, I left the school and instead, entered the work field but my interest had been peaked, about the social happenings of the day, I therefore maintained a steady dose of reading on the social political front and many of my studies have been centered on Haiti but not restricted.

In the past ten years, having had the opportunity to do radio, TV shows, it has reinvigorated a thirst for learning and a real quest to know! I have a broad understanding, on many issues, ranging from Health, Farming, Sports, social economical and political issues, never to leave out, a profound understanding on how Culture can either be the vehicle to success or its impediment! Culture is widely underestimated in the sphere of social economical formations, yet, there is always an epi-cultural affect, if not fully accounted for, it can render most efforts to an exercise of futility!

Aysha House

Aysha House

Director for Congressional Affairs

Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)

Ms. Aysha House is a seasoned foreign affairs strategist with a particular focus on international poverty elimination through sustained development and human rights.  She is a senior advisor to Agency officials and has served as a senior advisor for Members of Congress.

Ms. House currently serves as Director for Congressional Affairs for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) where she will lead the agency’s Congressional agenda. At OPIC she has increased the Agency’s profile on the Hill and with external stakeholders; specifically highlighting the Agency’s commitment to development in emerging markets. In addition to leading the Agency’s strategic objectives on Capitol Hill, Aysha also represents OPIC in key regional and sector-specific business development efforts and co-chairs OPIC’s Haiti Task Force.

Prior to joining OPIC, Aysha served as a Congressional Liaison in the Bureau for Legislative & Public Affairs for the US Agency for International Development (USAID). In this role, she served as an intermediary between USAID’s Bureau for Food Security, the Africa Bureau and USAID’s independent offices of Faith Based Initiatives and Civil Rights & Diversity to Members of Congress. Her role includes educating congressional staffers on the Administration’s global food security and hunger initiatives, advocating for nearly a billion dollar international agriculture budget, and providing strategic engagement and outreach for the Agency overall.

In 2009, Foreign Policy Magazine labeled her a “Hill Staffer to Watch,”. Aysha has served as a policy advisor to Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL); and served as Deputy Chief of Staff/Legislative Director to Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL). Her congressional responsibilities included providing support and advice to Members of Congress on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights; Congressional Black Caucus’ Haiti Task Force, planning Congressional Delegations to five continents.

Aysha earned BA degrees in Political Science and Interdisciplinary Social Science from the Florida State University, and a MA in Political Management from George Washington University. She is a Partnership for a Secure America fellow, a Mom-Blogger with the ONE Campaign, and the recipient of the USAID Administrator Award (2012) and OPIC Vice President Award (2013).

Jeff Lindor

Jeff Lindor

Known as “Mr. Community,” Jeff Lindor has made a name for himself through his passion and dedication to making positive changes in inner-city neighborhoods across the tri-state area, as well as for the Haitian community here is the U.S. and Haiti. He is a 2011 Jewish Community Relations Council, Haitian Leadership Fellow, sits on the board of the Haitian Leadership Coalition, is the choir director at his church L’Eglise Du Seigneur, and the co-founder of the Haitian American Caucus.

He currently works as a Marketing Associate for EmblemHealth. In this role he forges strong business relationships with elected officials, community-based organizations and business leaders to support local community initiatives, while increasing the EmblemHealth brand recognition in the New York City area.

In addition, Jeff teaches a professional development course at Kingsborough Community College. Topics include cultural diversity, business ethics, and leadership building. Furthermore, Jeff was a consultant for the City University of New York, and developed social media marketing strategies, while establishing community partnerships. He managed their social media channels and their “Apply ASAP” campaign, which resulted in over 300 students applying to college for the first time. Jeff has also worked with charter schools in Philadelphia, PA. where he helped initiate policies that reduced teacher retention.

Jeff received his Bachelors in History from York College and is currently pursuing his Masters in urban policy analysis and management from the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy a graduate school at The New School.

Daniel O'Neil

Daniel O’Neil, M.S.


Miyamoto International, Inc.

Daniel O’Neil has over 25 years experience directing projects around the world in such places as Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Viet Nam and Ethiopia. With his background in civil engineering, Daniel has split his time between non-project and for profit organizations. Daniel brings his considerable international development experience to Miyamoto, leading efforts in Latin America, while he is based in Washington D.C.

Catherine Ward

Catherine Ward

Senior Consultant, Advisory Services

Taproot Foundation

Catherine has dedicated her career to driving social impact through innovation and cross-sector collaboration. As a senior consultant in the Taproot Foundation’s Advisory Services practice, she oversees a diverse portfolio of engagements with leading international companies that are designing, implementing, and scaling initiatives that leverage their human capital to create positive social change. Catherine has extensive program design and implementation experience and has built a diverse professional background that has spans the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Most recently, Catherine directed services for small businesses and entrepreneurs in the Bloomberg Administration. In this role, Catherine designed, implemented, and executed large-scale strategic and operational initiatives to help small businesses to thrive, grow, and build the local economy. Before joining SBS, Catherine consulted with nonprofit organizations on fundraising and program development. Catherine began her career in theater, working as a producer, director, and educator. Currently, she is participant in Coro’s Leadership New York. Catherine is a graduate of Kenyon College and holds a Master of Public Administration from New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service.

Ilio Durandis

Ilio Durandis

Ilio Durandis is the Founder of Haiti 2015. Ilio holds Masters Degree in Molecular Biology, a Bachelor in Biological Sciences and degree in Political Science. Ilio has held different positions working as a Developmental Scientist in the bio-pharmaceutical industry, and has volunteered in different social organizations.

In 2001, Ilio co-founded Zanmi to help other young Haitians in Massachusetts reach all their potential. He is now the interim Secretary of MACCHA (Massachusetts Coalition of Haitian Hometown Association), and a columnist for the Haitian Times, an English based newspaper in New York serving the Haitian diaspora in the United States. Ilio believes that one of his missions in life is to be a part of anything that promotes the sustainable development and welfare of Haiti and its people.

Cedric Chauvet

Cedric Chauvet

AMCHAM – Haiti Board Member Since 2012

Cedric was born and raised in Haiti and attended the Lycée Alexandre Dumas all thru High School until graduation from the Baccalaureate section “Sciences Economiques et Sociales” (SES) with honors in 2001. He went straight to the University of Montreal where he graduated from both a Bachelor in Economics and Politics and a Certificate in Political Science in 2005. He pursued right after at HEC Montreal “Hautes Etudes Commerciales” in a Graduate Diploma in Management “Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieures Spécialisées en Gestion”(DESS).

In 2006-2007 his first job/internship was with the Global Voice Group’s Nopin Long Distance where he traveled to all the major cities where Haitians are concentrated in order to promote pin-less international phone call services to Haiti (MIA-NY-BOS-YUL-SDQ).

In 2008 he started working with the family business: Agence Citadelle S.A (Travel Agency) and Etablissements W. Bondel (Importer Coleman Products).

In April 2009 Delta Airlines signed a General Sales Agent contract with SORA S.A (Société pour la Representation Aérienne S.A) on the territory of Haiti and he has been heading that company ever since.
Delta Air Lines now has daily flights from JFK to PAP and started in April 2012 direct weekly flights from the world’s biggest Airline Hub: Atlanta to Port-au-Prince. As of June 2014 the frequency will be increased to daily flights from Atlanta to PAP. Furthermore, Delta’s expansion on the Haitian travel market does not stop here: a new “codeshare” agreement has been in effect since March 9th 2013 with Skyteam partner Air France on the Miami-PAP rout.

This being said Delta Air Lines certainly is stimulating competition in the Travel and Tourism industry in Haiti by offering flights to New York JFK, Atlanta and Miami from our dear Capital: Port-au-Prince. The rest is yet to come.

Armin Pialek

Armin Piálek

Armin Piálek is the North America Representative of the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt since May 2013. In this capacity, he coordinates the cooperation with the Taproot Foundation in New York and San Francisco. The aim is to bring professional Pro Bono Services to Germany and create a global Pro Bono network. Armin Piálek completed a Master’s degree in Eastern European Studies with a focus on politics and economics at the Free University of Berlin.

In 2009, he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Economics from the University of Bayreuth. As part of his undergraduate degree, he studied at the University of Paris Sorbonne-Panthéon in Paris in 2007/08. In the summer months of 2007 and 2008 he worked as a conference assistant with Oxford Analytica in Oxford. Starting as an intern in the Asian Relations Department of the BMW Foundation, he was a Fellow from 2010 until the beginning of 2012 and then a project manager in the social innovations department.

Pierre Nadji

Pierre Nadji

Pierre Nadji, Senior Strategist at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group (WBG), for the Latin America and Caribbean Region (LAC), has 25 years of experience with the World Bank Group. He has a broad and diverse experience in project finance, private sector development, political risk insurance, and development economics. He worked as an economist on Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. At MIGA, he underwrote transactions in South Eastern Europe and LAC in various sectors (infrastructure, manufacturing, finance, health) notably in Brazil, Dominican Republic, and Argentina. On countries such as Chad, Rwanda, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and 15 years in Haiti he developed an expertise in conflict and disaster affected countries. In the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, Mr. Nadji spent two years in Haiti, as Private Sector Advisor to the Haiti UN Special Envoy, former President Bill Clinton, and to the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission. Mr. Nadji is a French citizen. He holds an M.A. in Economics from the American University and an MBA from the George Washington University.

Judy Solange Prosper

Judy Solange Prosper is a Haitian-American attorney currently living in Westchester County, New York. She was a founding board member of IJDH through 2008 and has recently returned to the Board. Judy was a BAI volunteer attorney in early 2001, then remained in Port-au-Prince to serve the second Aristide administration as Legal Counsel through 2004. For the last eight years, she has been practicing as an Assistant Attorney General in New York. Her experiences include advocacy on behalf of survivors of domestic violence, civil rights litigation and a federal judicial clerkship. Judy graduated from Brooklyn Law School and Emory University.

Paul Belony

Paul Belony, Jr., Ph.D.

Dr. Belony is a highly gifted experimental physicist with thorough understanding of non-ideal plasma, high power circuitry, optical spectroscopy, and computational modeling. He is the president and founder of Belony Scientific, LLC, which is a scientific company with a vision to implement Research and Development throughout the world; this company aims to bring the adequate scientific tools for energy production all over the world. Dr. Belony is also the founder of STEM Translation, a translation company which focuses on technical documents in diverse languages; you can visit his translation website at www.stemtranslation.com. Dr. Belony is a scientific consultant with the MIT-Haiti Initiative, an MIT-led program which encourages the implementation of Technology-Enabled-Active-Learning in the Haitian educational system while promoting Haitian Creole as the essential thread and modern scientific tools as the needle to weave the fabric of scientific education in Haiti; Dr. Belony also serves as a translator and interpreter for the physics and math aspects this program.

Aside from his business executive position, Dr. Belony teaches Physics, Science, and Mathematics at various Universities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania including Moravian College, and Strayer University.

Recently, Dr. Belony served as a scientific consultant for ArkaInfoTech while leading a team of engineers in the design, programming, and construction of an autonomous robot which has been programmed, within certain constraints, to move across a ping pong table while responding to the serves of a human opponent during an active ping pong match.

Dr. Belony’s educational accomplishments started with his high school graduation in Port-au-Prince, Haiti at the “Institution Secondaire Gérard Gourgue”; at that school, he acquired profound admiration for Physics and Mathematics. He then attended Essex County College in 2000 and graduated with an associate degree in Mathematics in 2002. Two years later, in 2004, he graduated with a double bachelor’s degree of Physics and Mathematics at Montclair State University. In the same year, he started his graduate studies at Lehigh University where he later graduated with a Master’s degree in Physics in 2006. Then, in January 2011 at Lehigh University, he graduated with a Ph.D. in Physics. His doctoral dissertation: “Kinetics of Vapor Emissions near Wire Explosion Threshold,” explores the effects of the metallic gas-liquid critical state and the role of magnetic and thermal pressures in plasma generated from various types of electrical wire explosions, including X-pinch and Z-pinch. For his post-doctoral studies, he explored the realm of 2-dimensional thin-film explosions and the effects of the threshold of percolation on the shockwave configuration and energy concentration. His current research focuses on the development of experimental procedures and quantitative data analysis and their applications to plasma processes. His areas of expertise include: Non-ideal Plasma Formation, Electrical Wire Explosion, Laser-Produced-Plasma, Shockwave patterns, percolation, thin-film deposition, X-ray generation, Optical Spectroscopy, Thermal processes near Gas-Liquid Critical States, Q-Switch Laser, Ion Laser, Solid-State Laser, Image Processing, High-Power-Pulse-Forming Devices, and Electronic Circuit Design.

Dr. Daniel Faustin

Daniel Faustin

After his Medical School studies at the University of Brussels in Belgium where he received a degree of Doctor of Medicine,

Dr Faustin completed:

  • His clinical training in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Maternal Fetal Medicine at SUNY Downstate and Kings County Hospital Center

  • He served as Director of Obstetrics or Maternal Fetal Medicine at several New York City Hospitals, including: Flushing Hospital and Medical Center, Brookdale Hospital, Downstate Medical Center and was on the staff of Methodist Methodist Hospital and other hospital in Nassau and Suffolk counties..

  • He is a former President of the New York's Chapter of the Association of Haitian Physicians Abroad

  • Was recently a member of the Board of Directors of Banque de l'Union Haitienne during a 5-year term contributing to a successful recapitalization of that institution during the summer of 2013.

  • Is a co-founder of SIMACT Inc and President of Cap Lamandou Hotel Waterview S.A.

Dr Faustin is the current Director of Obstetrics and Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Kings County Hospital Center here in Brooklyn for over two years.

Gilda Charles

Gilda Charles is the VSLA & Women’s Empowerment Manager at CARE Haiti. In this role, Gilda manages a team of nine field staff and leads on the implementation of CARE Haiti’s Village, Savings & Loans Program – a community-managed microfinance scheme. Prior to this role, Gilda worked for Oxfam America where she helped to spearhead the design and implementation of Oxfam America’s Aid Effectiveness in Haiti Project which aims to strengthen the active participation of civil society in the development process. Gilda has also worked for Oxfam in Washington, DC and Dakar, Senegal where she coordinated a wide range of initiatives pertaining to issues as diverse as: Haiti reconstruction policy, climate change, economic justice and humanitarian policy. Additionally, Gilda has pursued a number of internship opportunities at ENDA Tiers Monde headquarted in Dakar, Senegal, Amnesty International’s Legislative Office in Washington, DC and the Office of US Senator Lautenberg. Gilda holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Philosophy from Rutgers University where she studied abroad in Juarez, Mexico; Fez, Morocco; and Dakar, Senegal. Gilda is an eternal Haiti optimist and is fascinated by the links between business, social psychology and prosperity. You can reach her via email here.

Jean-Ford Figaro

Dr. Jean-Ford Figaro is a Haitian medical doctor and health education coordinator at Boston Medical Center. He received his medical degree at the Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo, focusing in community health, and earned his Masters of Medical Science in Healthcare Emergency management and Public health disasters at Boston University. Since 2010, he has been a spokesperson for Cholera victims in Haiti and has urged the United Nations to take responsibility.

On September 26, 2013, Dr. Figaro and members of the “Collective Solidarity Towards Cholera Victims” organized a peaceful march in front of the UN headquarters in New York City to protest the UN's response to the cholera epidemic and the relative impunity of MINUSTAH in general.