Mme. Michèle Duvivier Pierre-Louis, Chair
Director of the Fondation Connaissance et Liberté/Fondasyon Konesans Ak Libète (Foundation for Knowledge and Liberty)
After studying abroad and obtaining her degree in Economics from Queens College of the City University of New York, Michèle Duvivier Pierre-Louis returned to Haiti in 1976. She served in the private sector at the Bank of Nova Scotia as Credit Officer, then as Deputy-Director for Administration and Human Resources at a Development Finance Corporation (SOFIHDES), and Deputy Director of the National Airport Authority.
She has always devoted special attention to education, access to information, culture and sustainable development. In 1986 she became a national trainer in a major literacy campaign. In 1991, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide called on her to serve as a member of his private cabinet. In 1995 she founded the Fondation Connaissance et Liberté – FOKAL (www.fokal.org), a member of the Open Society Foundations – Soros foundations’ network, which she directed for thirteen years. In September 2008, Michèle Pierre-Louis became Prime Minister of Haiti, only the second woman to hold this position. While Prime Minister, Pierre-Louis also served as Minister of Justice and Public Security. Upon leaving office in November 2009, she resumed her activities at FOKAL as President, coordinating special projects related to Haiti’s post-earthquake reconstruction efforts.
In addition to her various commitments, Michèle Pierre-Louis has pursued scholarly interests. Since 1989, she has been a board member of “Chemins Critiques,” an academic journal, in which she published several articles on politics, economics, arts and culture. She has also contributed to several books and academic journals, and teaches at the Université Quisqueya.
In 2010, Michèle Pierre-Louis became a member of the International Commission Against the Death Penalty, based in Spain (www.icdp.org), having been nominated by Mr. José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the then Prime Minister of Spain. She is also the Chair of an Independent Expert Group for the Least Developed Countries under the auspices of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) based in the United Kingdom. In 2014, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon nominated her as a member of a High Level Panel on a Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries. For the past three years, (2013, 2014 and 2015), she has served as a member jury for the WISE Award on education under the auspices of the Qatar Foundation.
She has received several awards and distinctions in her career among which a “Doctorate Honoris Causa” in Humanities from Saint Michael College, Vermont in 2004 and more recently (December 2014), a second one from the University of San Francisco. In 2010, she was a Resident Fellow at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government/Institute of Politics during the Fall semester.
Dr. Jhon Picard Byron
Université d’État d’Haïti, Faculté d’Ethnologie (FE) de (UEH)
Dr Byron is a Professor and Researcher at the Faculté d’Ethnologie at the State University of Haiti (UEH). His research interests are centered around Jean Price Mars’s work and legacy as well as the Construction of culture and citizenry in Haiti and the Caribbean. He is the Chair of a Research Unit working on Language, Discourses and Representations (LADIREP) and the Coordinator of the Masters Programme in Social Anthropology at the Faculté d’Ethnologie. His most recent publication is “La pensée de Jean Price-Mars : entre construction politique de la nation et affirmation de l’identité culturelle haïtienne.” In Production du savoir et construction sociale. L’ethnologie en Haïti. He has two forthcoming publications: one on the influence of Haitian Anthropology at the origin of François Duvalier’s discourse and the other on Jean Price Mars and the transformation of Haitian Anthropology: challenges and stakes.
M. Phillipe Dodard
Director, Ecole Nationale des Arts d’Haïti (ENARTS)
An acclaimed painter, sculptor, graphic artist and educator, Mr Dodard is the Director of the National School of Arts (ENARTS) since 2011. His work has been exhibited internationally and he is very involved in cultural and art circles in Haiti. According to Babacar M’Bow “Art, as a fairy, invited itself to his birth,” as he met, at age 15, three important Haitian painters (Jean-Claude Garoute [Tiga], Patrick Vilaire and Frido of the Poto-Mitan art school) who played a determining role in shaping his artistic destiny. His academic training completed in 1975 was furthered by four years of spiritual studies at the Kripalu Yoga Ashram in the mountains overlooking Port-au-Prince. His first solo exhibition at the Galerie Marassa in 1981 was inspired by his Yoga experience and was an instant success. Between 1981 and 1986, he researched the iconographies of the Arawak, Taïno and the African masks while directing an advertising agency. His style completely changed after the popular uprising against dictatorship in Haiti in 1986. He became more engaged in social work as co-founder of Fondation Culture Création in 1992 for the promotion of Art and Culture where he served as a President for five years. A cultural adviser to Mrs Préval, the former First Lady of Haiti (2006-2011), Dodard is the project manager of PlasTimoun, a psychosocial project created by her and which uses art and sport as therapy for the relief of children affected by the January 2010 Earthquake.
Philippe Dodard has participated in many biennial art events and group exhibitions in the Caribbean, North and South America, in Europe, Africa and Asia. He proposes an aesthetic approach in which the mind and the world, the spiritual and material, subject and object all dissolve into a harmonious unity. It is this iconographical approach to art that makes him a “Maroon in Modernism.” His most recent solo exhibition was held at the Frost Art Museum, Florida in May-June 2014.