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Building a Social Change Leadership Plan for Haiti


the board

At the start of this journey, we recognized that weak leadership was at the root of Haitians lack of engagement and participation in the post-earthquake humanitarian response and subsequent reconstruction. Since that time, we have remained steadfast in our commitment to advancing our mission, which is to cultivate and support a new generation.
We knew that tackling the chronic leadership challenge, at all levels and across all sectors would take time. Indeed, it is exactly in response to this challenge that CLE was created. We use our existing assets of people and partners across the country to build more effective Haitian leadership. Our work is cross sectoral and intentional about the development of strong networks of like-minded citizens. It is also about promoting collaboration, disseminating best practices, and proven innovations for social and economic progress in Haiti.
As we look back at the past decade, we are deeply encouraged by the momentum that CLE has built. We are witnesses to the transformation that has taken place as a result of the hard labor of leaders across the country. In tribute to those we lost in 2010 and in solidarity with this and the next generation, we are reaffirming our commitment to hold steadfast to our mission, which is to bring about a leadership transformation that will positively impact the lives of youth, families and communities across Haiti.
We thank you for your continued support.

Meet Our Executive Board

Maryse Pénette-Kedar

Founder and Co-President

Former Minister of Tourism, Founder of the ProDev Foundation and President of Solano, the subsidiary of Royal Caribbean in Haiti.

Magalie Noel Dresse


Digicel Entrepreneur of the Year 2010, “Emerging Entrepreneurs” category, winner of the Latin Trade Bravo Business Award 2013, “Innovative Social Sustainability” category. She runs the largest craft company in Haiti, Caribbean Craft

Loune Viaud


Co-Executive Director of Zamni Lasante, an NGO working in the health sector in Haiti, a sister organization of Partners in Health

Norma Powell

Vice President

General Director of the Center for Facilitation of Investments (CFI), an agency of the Haitian government, and former President of the Association of Industries of Haiti (ADIH).

Kesner Pharel


Co-founder and Chair of Groupe Croissance, and radio host of “Economic Magazine,” Kesner is one of Haiti’s leading experts in local governance and public finance.

Johnny Celestin


Deputy Director of NYC Mayor’s Office of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs). Former Executive Director of the Haitian Center for Leadership and Excellence from 2016 to 2020. He worked for institutions such as Accenture and the Atlantic Philanthropies, served as the Deputy CoS for Haiti’s Minister of Planning, and a member in the Prime Minister’s cabinet.

Our Advisory Council

Cantave is an agronomist with more than 35 years serving Haiti’s most vulnerable communities. He runs an NGO “Partnership for Local Development” PDL. He is an expert in rural community development.

Ralph is a graphic designer with nearly 20 years of experience in Haiti and Miami. He is the Creative Director at "Blue Mango", a Haitian marketing firm. He is also the Creative Director at FotoKonbit, a non-profit organization created to encourage Haitians to tell their own stories through photography.

Mary Coyle has been a Canadian Senator from the province of Nova Scotia, since 2017. A long-time champion for women’s leadership, gender equality, and the rights of Indigenous Peoples, Ms. Coyle has forged a distinguished career in the post-secondary education and non-profit sectors, with a focus on international and local development. Ms. Coyle has been a stalwart champion of CLE’s since its very beginning, and part of the founding team in her role as the former director of Coady Institute, CLE’s founding partner. Ms. Coyle has worked as the Executive Director of the Frank McKenna Centre for Leadership at St. Francis Xavier University, and supported the Friends United Indigenous Arts and Culture Initiative. Ms. Coyle played an instrumental role in the establishment of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, the Romeo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, and the Indian School of Microfinance for Women.

Today Ms. Coyle supports CLE with strategic development, resource mobilization, and much more.

Phenide is a doctor, graduated from the School of Medicine in Cuba. Its field of intervention is public health with the main focus being equity of access to quality health care. She works mainly with vulnerable communities, including camp populations. Phenide is a recipient of the 2014-2016 Fulbright Excellence Fellowship and is currently pursuing a Masters in Global Health at Harvard University

Michèle is a sociologist. She was decorated with the insignia of Officer of Agricultural Merit by the French Embassy in Haiti. She is currently the Executive Secretary of the Interministerial Committee for Regional Planning (CIAT).

"Investing in people always pays the highest dividends for a society"

Mary Coyle

Senator from Nova Scotia Canada, and member of CLE’s founding team


Our amazing team

Meet the dedicated people behind all of our work.