Nadia Cherrouk

January 17th, 2017 by DCI

Nadia Cherrouk is a senior international financial and program management professional with over 20 year experience and leadership in the international development field. Ms. Cherrouk has extensive experience in multi-sectorial rural and urban programming, financial management and institutional administration and has developed strong partnerships and working relationships with local government institutions and multilateral donor agencies such as the World Bank, USAID, the American Red Cross, the UN agencies, DFID and other multilateral organizations and corporate donors.

Ms. Cherrouk holds a masters and bachelors in Business Administration, with a specialization in the not-for-profit sector, organizational strategic management, grant management, including federally funded grants, and multilateral funding. She currently serves as country director for the Pan American Development Foundations (PADF) in Haiti, where she oversees a $20 million dollar portfolio targeting over 1.5 million direct and indirect beneficiaries. She is also the Chief of Party for the USAID funded program Leveraging Effective Application of Direct Investment (LEAD) Program.

Rebecca Obounou

January 13th, 2017 by DCI

Rebecca is the founder and leader of CHES. CHES is a 501c3 tax-exempt organization founded in June 2008 based in Massachusetts. The organization is mainly comprised of dedicated volunteers, which include a number of Haitian and Haitian-American business professionals. CHES supports entrepreneurs in rural Haiti through education, funds, and mentorship. Rebecca is an American born Haitian-American who lived in rural Haiti during her adolescence. Her time in Haiti ultimately inspired her to found CHES. Rebecca holds an undergraduate degree in Business Management from Bentley University. Her career path includes corporate retail, real estate and product sales, and hospitality. She currently works at Babson College as Assistant Director of the Schlesinger Fund for Global Healthcare Entrepreneurship. Rebecca is also a MBA candidate at Babson College May 2017.

Martin J. Walsh

January 12th, 2017 by DCI

Martin J. Walsh, a lifelong champion of working people and a proud product of the City of Boston, was sworn in as the City’s 54th mayor on January 6, 2014.

Mayor Walsh’s vision is of a thriving, healthy, and innovative Boston — a City with equality and opportunity for all, where a revolutionary history inspires creative solutions to the challenges of the 21st century.

Since taking office, Mayor Walsh has focused on strengthening Boston’s schools, adding hundreds of high-quality pre-kindergarten seats, funding extended learning time and advanced curriculum at more schools, and securing tuition-free community college for Boston Public Schools graduates.

The Mayor has led Boston to the forefront of the global innovation economy, by attracting industry-leading private sector employers, upgrading the City’s digital infrastructure, and using technology to transform government services — from a parking meter payment app to a new City website.

At the same time, he has created powerful tools for low-income workers, including a “learn and earn” job apprenticeship program and an Office of Financial Empowerment. He is the founding vice-chair of the Cities of Opportunity Task Force at the U.S. Conference of Mayors, elevating the national conversation on income inequality.

The Walsh Administration has addressed the tremendous need for housing in the City with an ambitious plan, setting records for new affordable and middle-class homes. In addition, it has built a state-of- the-art homeless shelter and gotten the City on a path to effectively ending chronic homelessness.

The Administration has been hailed by the White House for expanding young people’s opportunities and breaking new ground in crime prevention and police-community relations.

Other milestones include the nation’s first municipal Office of Recovery Services to prevent and treat substance abuse; the City’s first Cultural Plan in a generation, to restore Boston’s identity as an arts leader; and, in a sign of strong fiscal management and economic policy, the City’s first perfect AAA bond ratings, unlocking unprecedented investments in parks, libraries, and public safety.

Finally, the Mayor has invited the people of Boston to help build a blueprint for the City’s future in Imagine Boston 2030, the first citywide plan in half a century. Before taking office, Mayor Walsh served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, where he was a leader on job creation and worker protections; substance abuse, mental health, and homelessness; K-12 education; and civil rights. He played a key role defending Massachusetts’ pioneering stand on marriage equality.

Mayor Walsh also made his mark as a labor leader. After following his father into Laborers Local 223 in Boston, he rose to head the Building and Construction Trades Council from 2011 to 2013. He worked with business and community leaders to promote high-quality development, and he created a program called Building Pathways that has become a model for increasing diversity in the workplace and providing good career opportunities for women and people of color.

Born and raised in the neighborhood of Dorchester by immigrant parents, Mayor Walsh is driven to make sure Boston is a City where anyone can overcome their challenges and fulfill their dreams. As a child, Mayor Walsh survived a serious bout of Burkett’s lymphoma, thanks to the extraordinary care he received at Boston Children’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute. His recovery from alcoholism as a young adult led to his lifelong commitment to the prevention and treatment of addiction. And while working full-time as a legislator, he returned to school to earn a degree in Political Science at Boston College.

Mayor Walsh continues to reside in Dorchester, where he shares his life with longtime partner Lorrie Higgins.

Marie St. Fleur, J.D.

December 27th, 2016 by DCI

Marie St. Fleur is a highly effective and passionate organizational and program leader with 30 years of legislative, municipal and legal leadership. Linking public and private resources through strong partnerships, she helps generate effective changes that enhance the quality of life in vulnerable communities; creating targeted approaches to closing the work opportunity gap.

Her experience as an attorney, legislator, senior leader in municipal government and nonprofit leader informs her ability to assist clients to develop strategic partnerships to advance mutual goals, create effective messaging to build support and amplify voice for transformational change, promote civic engagement that leverages community strengths to reach agreed objectives.

Prior to launching St. Fleur Communications, Ms. St. Fleur served as President and CEO of a research and advocacy nonprofit in Boston. There she led the formation of the influential Put MA Kids First Coalition securing increased investment in early education and care in Massachusetts for 2 consecutive fiscal years (2016, 2017), and the creation of the Early Education Small Business Innovation Center in Roxbury, the first of its type in Massachusetts.

Ms. St. Fleur was appointed by Mayor Thomas M. Menino on June 13, 2010, as Chief of Advocacy and Strategic Investment for the City of Boston. In that capacity, Ms. St. Fleur led the Mayor Menino Circle of Promise Initiative supported diversity and reentry Initiatives, supervised the Department of Intergovernmental Relations, The Office of New Bostonians, The Office of Small and Local Business Enterprise, and the Boston Jobs for Boston Residents Policy.

Former State Representative Marie St. Fleur served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives for eleven years. She is the first Haitian-American elected to state office in the United States and the first woman to serve as the Vice Chair of the powerful House Committee on Ways and Means. As the House Chair of the Joint Committee on Education, Arts and Humanities, Representative St. Fleur championed two-way bilingual education, alternative education and led the establishment of the new Massachusetts Board and Department of Early Education and Care.

A former Assistant Middlesex District Attorney and Assistant State Attorney General, Ms. St. Fleur has significant experience protecting underserved communities in the areas of criminal justice, human services and civil rights.

A graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Representative St. Fleur earned her Law Degree from Boston College Law School in 1987. Ms. St. Fleur served as Chair of the Advisory Council for the Haiti Fund at The Boston Foundation, is a former trustee of the Boston Bar Foundation and past President of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association. She has been featured on WCVB Television’s City Line and Chronicle, WGBH Television’s Greater Boston, Boston Magazine and Commonwealth Magazine. Ms. St. Fleur is a recipient of Boston Business Journal’s 2014 Women Up award and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Dorchester Boys and Girls Club, Nativity Preparatory School, Technology Goes Home and the Advisory Committee for Inversant.

Linda Dorcena Forry

December 27th, 2016 by DCI

Linda Dorcena Forry grew up in Dorchester’s Uphams Corner neighborhood, where her parents settled after emigrating to the United States from Haiti in the mid 1960s. Upon her election to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 2005, Forry became the second Haitian American to hold public office in Massachusetts.

Senator Forry has dedicated her professional life to a career in public service, working in various capacities in state and city government for over 15 years. Forry has also served on a number of local boards and organizations, including the Ward 13 and Ward 17 Democratic committees.

Forry represented the Commonwealth’s 12th Suffolk district since 2005, a diverse and vibrant cross-section that includes parts of the town of Milton and the city of Boston, including Dorchester, Hyde Park and Mattapan. She was recently elected Senator for the Commonwealth’s 1st Suffolk district which includes Dorchester, Mattapan, South Boston and Hyde Park.

Forry is married to Bill Forry and they are the proud parents of four beautiful children, two sons and two daughters. The Forrys live in the Lower Mills neighborhood of Dorchester.

Ambassador Paul Altidor

November 18th, 2016 by DCI

Known for his innovative and strategic leadership with extensive background in the private and public sector, Paul Getty Altidor was named Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Haiti to the United States on January 2012 and presented his credentials to President Barack Obama on May 2.

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.

Jerry Tardieu

November 14th, 2016 by DCI

Jerry Tardieu is an elected official, Congressman of the district of Petion-Ville. He is the minority leader at the Haitian lower Chamber. Tardieu’s legislative agenda includes a legal battle for the haitian diaspora to play a greater role in Haiti’s political affairs. Known as the champion of the diaspora in parliament, Tardieu recently introduced a new bill on citizenship on the floor of congress. If voted by both chambers, this bill will definitely lift all barriers to dual citizenship for Haitians living abroad.

Before elected congressman, Jerry Tardieu was an engaged entrepreneur profoundly involved in Haiti’s economic, social, academic and political life.

In his 35-year career, Tardieu has served as the CEO of numerous Haitian enterprises operating in various sectors ranging from the leather industry to real estate and hospitality fields. Until 2015, Jerry Tardieu was the CEO of Royal Oasis Hotel, a renowned hospitality establishment and  a great source of pride for the Petion-Ville district.

Jerry Tardieu is the founder of  “Kolektif Abitan Petyonvil,” a broad civic organization which provides a forum to Pétion-ville natives and residents, with an eye on identifying the issues plaguing the city.

Jerry Tardieu was educated at Institution Saint-Louis de Gonzague, in Port-au-Prince. He later completed a bachelor’s degree in business administration at the Université Européenne de Bruxelles before capping his studies with a Master’s degree in public administration at Harvard University.

Because of his academic background and professional experience, Jerry Tardieu is regularly consulted in structuring private/public partnerships.

Jerry Tardieu has authored many books on Haiti. In 2006, he published “Haiti: l’Avenir en Face,” In 2014, he released “Investir et s’Investir en Haïti: Un Acte de Foi,” a bestseller in Haiti and the diaspora. In July  2016,  He published a pamphlet titled : “My battle for the Haitian living abroad : a patriotic duty”

Jerry Tardieu often intervenes as a speaker at local and foreign universities.

Numerous organizations have, through the years, bestowed a slew of impressive awards on Jerry Tardieu. He received the “ Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award” from Haiti’s Ministry of Youth, Sports and Civic Service. In 2011, he was the co-recipient, with Wyclef Jean, of the “Aksyon Visionary Award.”

Ludovic Comeau

September 9th, 2016 by DCI

Professor Comeau has taught economics at DePaul University since 2001. He earned a Ph.D. in economics, an MBA in finance and an MA in economics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also earned an MA in French Literature from the University of Chicago, and business and Law degrees from the State University of Haiti.

Prior to the 1990s, he affirmed his love for education as a teacher of Haitian and French literatures at Petit Séminaire-Collège Saint-Martial (1979-1991), his alma mater, as well as his managerial and citizenly skills in Haiti’s private and public sectors, specifically:

  • in a family business;
  • as member for four years of the managing board and Préfet des études de la section secondaire at Saint-Martial, Haiti’s oldest, iconic boys Catholic school (founded 1865);
  • as assistant-director for Cultural Affairs at Haiti’s ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship (1980-1988);
  • as director of Human Resources at the ministry of National Education, Youth and Sports (1988-1991);
  • as a freelance columnist, regularly publishing articles on cultural and artistic matters;
  • in humanitarian endeavors through the Catholic Church and the Lions Club of Port-au-Prince Central.

Following graduate school through a Fulbright scholar obtained in 1991, Dr. Comeau returned home in 1997 to join Haiti’s central bank (La Banque de la République d’Haïti, BRH) as economist consultant. One year later, he became director of Money and Economic Analysis (chief economist), until early 2001 when he returned to the U.S. to join DePaul University. He is a consultant for the central bank of Haiti. Other consulting endeavors include serving as a Research Advisor for a Diaspora-wide project about Diaspora Engagement and Investment in Haiti (2015), as a member of the jury for the final round of the 2015 Business Plan Competition, and as a Project Leader and the Jury Coordinator for the Diaspora Challenge Fund (2016-2017), all three PADF/LEAD/USAID-sponsored projects.

Professor Comeau’s research focuses on institutional aspects of economic growth, particularly issues regarding the impact on economic growth of sociopolitical instability and sub-efficient economic governance. Dr. Comeau has spoken and lectured extensively about Haiti, mainly since the January 12, 2010 earthquake. He’s participated in many forums held in the Diaspora. He is a member of the board of DuSable Heritage Association, and a founding member of Haitian Congress to Fortify Haiti. He joined GRAHN-Monde, or GRAHN-World (Group for Reflection and Action for a New Haiti;, an unprecedented global Haitian think-tank that emerged in Canada one week after the earthquake. He is vice-president at GRAHN-World and president of GRAHN-USA. He is founding editor of Haïti Perspectives, GRAHN’s scientific quarterly, and president of the International Jury for GRAHN’s Excellence Awards. He is professor and trustee at ISTEAH (Institute for Science, Technology and Advanced Studies of Haiti,, GRAHN’s accredited graduate program, in Haiti. He is supporting the U.S. fundraising campaign for GRAHN’s major project: Le Pôle d’innovation du Grand Nord (PIGraN) – La Cité du Savoir ( Over the years, he’s been the recipient of several awards.