Peace and Democracy Building in Haiti: A Civil Society Perspective

July 27, 2022
04:00 pm - 05:00 pm

ABout the Event

To watch the recording of the event, click the play button on the image above, or watch on YouTube.

For far too long Haitians have been divided and unable to agree on their country’s future.  Today, Haitians are living through a particularly fraught period of social upheaval and political and economic disaster. Without a political solution, Haiti is likely to face greater social, economic and public insecurity, with gangs controlling more territory, and democratic and state institutions continuing to collapse. This would also lead to greater regional instability. Despite the odds, Haitians are coming together to bridge their historical divisions, find common ground and develop a shared vision to bring the country back from the brink.

The result of this civil society effort is the Manifesto for An Inclusive Dialogue Toward a Peaceful Transition to a Democratic and Prosperous Haitian Society. The NED, in partnership with the Observatoire Citoyen de l’Action des Pouvoirs Publics en Haiti (OCAPH) convened civil society leaders from Haiti and the Haitian diaspora to present the results of their collective efforts in devising innovative solutions for a peaceful and democratic transition in Haiti and discussed the proposals formulated in their manifesto.

About the Speakers

Charles Clermont serves on the board of directors for Kafou Lespwa. After a career in engineering that started in Colombia, he spent twenty years in the Haitian financial system, first as Credit Manager of SOFIHDES, Credit Manager of Banque de Crédit Immobilier, the first Haitian Savings and loan Bank, General Manager of SOGEBEL, second S & L Bank and then, CEO of the SOGEBANK Group.  Since 2000, he has devoted himself to developing businesses as a consultant and as an investor. He has been active in the field of public policy, including advising the President of Haiti in agreements on trade, investment and regional integration.

Dr. Joseph Sany serves as the vice president of the newly established Africa Center for the United States Institute of Peace. Dr. Sany has been working at the forefront of peacebuilding with civil society, governments, businesses, and international organizations in Africa for over 20 years. In his most recent role at FHI 360, Dr. Sany provided technical leadership in the design and implementation of multi-year, multi-million-dollar peacebuilding and civil society development programs in several countries in Africa and Asia. Prior to his work at FHI 360, Dr. Sany advised international organizations and development agencies including the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, USAID missions, and the Economic Community of Central African States on peacebuilding and development strategies.

Pierre-Antoine Louis is a Senior Consultant for OCAPH and Public Affairs Director of AlC, Alternative Insurance Company, the premier insurance firm in Haiti. He oversees AIC’s relationship with the public sector and civil society, and is setting up AIC Foundation, the civic-minded, philanthropic arm of the insurance company, which also aims to be a think tank, weighing in on significant public policy issues in Haiti.

Guy Serge Pompilus is an OCAPH Board Member and a Senior Advisor. He worked in the education sector for over forty years in Haiti and the Sahel region. He held various positions in the education sector’s public and private systems, notably as an adviser to several education ministers. Trained at the University of Paris 7 (France) in mathematics, Guy Serge Pompilus was the Dean of the École Normale Supérieure, the teacher training school of the State University of Haiti. Recipient of the Order of the Academic Palms (France), Guy Serge Pompilus, is also a Board member of several non-profit organizations in Haiti.

Johnny Celestin is currently a deputy director in NY City’s Mayor’s Office of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs). He is also a faculty member at the Studley Graduate Program in International Affairs program at the New School University. Previously in Haiti, he worked in the development sector as Director of the Haitian Fund for Innovation and Executive Director of Le Centre Haitien pour le Leadership et l’Excellence, the first Haiti-based and Haitian-led leadership development center.

Carl Alexandre is a 32-year veteran of the U.S. Department of Justice, currently serving as Counselor for Transnational Organized Crime; he is a career member of the U.S. Senior Executive Service. From 2018 to 2022 Mr. Alexandre was Executive Director for Partnerships and Planning at the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL). As Executive Director he oversaw the organization’s strategic planning and law enforcement cooperation efforts in several key crime areas such as cybercrime, organized and emerging crimes, trafficking in humans, and terrorism. In 2013, Mr. Alexandre was appointed Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (Political & Rule of Law) for the UN’s Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), a position he held until late 2016.

Damon Wilson is president and chief executive officer of the National Endowment for Democracy. Prior to joining NED, Mr. Wilson served as executive vice president at the Atlantic Council, as special assistant to the president and senior director for European affairs at the National Security Council, as executive secretary and chief of staff at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, and as deputy director in the private office of the NATO Secretary General. He is a graduate of Duke University and Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs.