meet our
Board Members

No matter who you are or where you live, there are many ways you can play a part in creating a better future in Haiti.

Michèle D. Pierre-Louis

As an economist, Michèle D. Pierre-Louis has extensive managerial experience in the public and private sectors.

As an educator, she has been a trainer in a national literacy campaign in Haiti and is today a professor at Université Quisqueya in Port-au-Prince.

In 1995, she created FOKAL, which she directed for thirteen years. From 2008 to 2009, she served as Prime Minister of Haiti. Upon leaving office, she resumed work at FOKAL as President, coordinating post-earthquake projects and leading a network of smallholder farmers’ organizations to advance their rights and means of livelihood.

In 2011, President Zapatero of Spain invited her to join the International Commission against the Death Penalty. 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 Development Countries. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres nominated her as a High-Level Advisory Board Mediation member in 2017.

Mrs. Pierre-Louis holds a degree from Queens College of New York and has received several awards and distinctions in her career. She holds a Doctorate Honoris Causa in humanities from Saint Michael College, Vermont, in 2004. From September through December 2010, she was a Resident Fellow at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government/Institute of Politics. In December 2014, she received a second Doctorate Honoris Causa from the University of San Francisco, and in 2023, she was awarded the Legion d’Honneur from the French Government.

Michèle is the Chair of the Board.

Maria Teresa Rojas

Maria Teresa Rojas is a senior executive with extensive experience building institutions, developing programs, and implementing grantmaking strategies. She recently concluded a long career with the Open Society Foundations, where she was the founder and director of the International Migration Initiative. Before that, she served in the Open Society-U.S. program as Associate Director for Grantmaking and Program Development, Deputy Director for the Justice Fund, and Associate Director for Communications. In the last few years, she focused on developing work in the Caribbean in partnership with FOKAL and OSF’s Latin America Program. As part of that work, she supported migrant rights efforts in the Dominican Republic. She leveraged a partnership with the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States to develop model legislation for people displaced by climate change.

Maria Teresa worked as a journalist, filmmaker, and television producer earlier. She built a cable television network for the City of New York that instituted unprecedented television coverage of local government proceedings. She has served on several boards, including Hispanics in Philanthropy, the European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM), the New York Women’s Foundation, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, and the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at the University of New South Wales.

Piotr Korynski

Piotr Korynski is a finance and economic development specialist with significant field experience working in over 20 countries.  For over ten years, Mr. Korynski led the efforts of the Soros Economic Development Fund, a social investment vehicle of the Open Society Institute, to develop microfinance globally. As an independent consultant, he has worked with the private sector, government organizations, and international agencies to develop programs and policies for economic growth, social inclusion, and financial deepening.  Mr. Korynski is a graduate of The Ohio State University and the Kellogg School of Management.  Piotr is the treasurer and Secretary of the Board

Rima Kupryte

Rima Kupryte is the Director of Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL), a not-for-profit organization that works with libraries to enable access to knowledge for education, learning, research, and sustainable community development. Rima has led EIFL since its inception in 2003. Under Rima’s leadership, EIFL has grown into a thriving international organization in more than 60 developing and transition economy countries. Rima’s deep knowledge of international development and library operations and infrastructure has led to the strategic expansion of EIFL’s programs, which help people access and use information for education, learning, research, and sustainable community development. Rima joined EIFL from the Open Society Institute Budapest (known as the Open Society Foundations), where she managed the Network Library Program, supporting library development in approximately 35 Central and Eastern European countries, the former Soviet Union, and Africa. In 2008, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) awarded Rima the IFLA Medal, one of the highest professional accolades, for her contributions to international librarianship.

Maude Malengrez

Maude Malengrez has worked as a journalist and editor in Demain le Monde (CNCD 11.11.11) and Infosud, the Belgian office of the international press agencies network Syfia International. In 2008, she relocated to Haïti, where she collaborates with the online press agency Alterpresse and works as a freelancer. She has overseen the Media Program of the Fondation Connaissance et Liberté from 2010 to 2022. In January 2023, she relocated to Brussels and started to work as a Content Editor at KANAL-Centre Pompidou. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s in international politics from the Free University of Brussels. Passionate about theater, she has followed the Quatre Chemins theater festival of Port-au-Prince since its creation in 2003 and is now part of its board of directors. In 2015, she started creating the interdisciplinary journal Trois/Cent/Soixante with a team of friends.

Nishu Trivedi

Nishu Trivedi is a highly accomplished professional with extensive experience in finance and investment management. He has earned a Master of Liberal Arts in Biology from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry from Wilkes University. Trivedi has held senior roles in renowned organizations such as Atgo Capital, Terra Incognita Capital, GLG Partners, Epoch Investment Partners, Deephaven Capital Management, and Cobra Management. His expertise in new product development, research, equities trading, and analysis strategies has significantly helped Atgo Capital expand its portfolio. He worked closely with Terra Incognita Capital and co-founded it to implement innovative strategies to support emerging market businesses. As a senior global equity trader at GLG Partners, Trivedi contributed valuable insights into emerging market trading. As head of new products and research, Trivedi primarily focuses on developing ground-breaking research strategies that enhance the company’s investment potential.

Patricia Benoit

Patricia Benoit is a Haitian American filmmaker born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and grew up in Queens, New York. Her family was forced into exile under the Duvalier dictatorship and moved to France before moving to the United States. Benoit’s documentary Courage and Pain (produced by Jonathan Demme), about victims of political torture in Haiti, was shown at the Walter Reade Theater in New York and the London Film Festival. Tonbe/Leve, her award-winning documentary about the struggle for democracy in Haiti after the end of the Duvaliers’ 30-year rule, was an official selection of the New York Film Festival, The Havana Film Festival, The New York Human Rights Film Festival, and the San Juan Film Festival. Benoit’s short story “The Red Dress” was included in the anthology The Butterfly’s Way, edited by Edwidge Danticat. With Stones in the Sun, Benoit was a fellow at the 2007 Sundance Screenwriters and Directors Labs and winner of the first Time Warner Storytelling award in 2007. The film won a Special Jury Mention in the Best New Narrative Director category at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival. Patricia is working on her new movie

Lorraine Mangones

Lorraine Mangones is the Executive Director of the Haitian Foundation Foundation for Knowledge and Liberty (FOKAL). She studied theater and art history in England and the United States (BA, MA) and communications in Canada (MA). Since 1982, she has worked in positions of responsibility in various cultural and educational institutions in the US and Canada (International Research and Exchanges Board, IREX, French Institute of New York, CIDHICA in Montreal). She returned to Haiti after the fall of the dictatorship in 1986. She worked at the Haitian Ministry of Education as part of a team developing new pedagogical tools. In 1987, she became a program officer at the Haitian Association of Voluntary Agencies for training and communications programs while conducting theater workshops for grassroots groups and later teaching at the State University. From the 1990s, she contributed to several publications on the social, cultural, and political issues facing Haiti in the post-dictatorship era.

Françoise Girard

Françoise Girard is the founder and host of Feminism Makes Us Smarter. Françoise is an author, advocate, and expert on women’s health, human rights, sexuality, HIV and AIDS, and feminist movements. Her advocacy and writing have focused on bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights—critical pre-conditions for all other aspects of women’s and girls’ lives. For over 20 years, she has advocated for women’s rights and gender justice in close partnership with feminist activists from Latin America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. In addition, she has worked to ensure human rights frameworks protect and promote these rights at conferences such as the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) +5, the 2005 World Summit (Millenium Development Goals), and the process to negotiate the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals. She served eight years as President of the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC).  Françoise’s commitment to justice, freedom, and human rights dates to her studies in Soviet Russia and her time as a law clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada. She has held the positions of Director for Central and Eastern Europe and Haiti at the Open Society Institute, Program Officer for International Policy at IWHC, Consultant for the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPFWHR) and DAWN, a network of women’s rights activists from the global South; and Director of the Public Health Program at the Open Society Foundations.  

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