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Haitian embassy launches training program for next generation of leaders
Published on June 30, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

WASHINGTON, USA -- Seven students from top universities in Haiti arrived in the US capital this week to work at the Haitian embassy as part of a new summer fellowship and work-training program. Their arrival followed the departure to Haiti last week of six Haitian-American graduate students assigned to work in key Haitian government agencies and offices.

Together, the 13 students make up the inaugural class of the Haiti's Future Leaders Fellowship program, an initiative of the Haitian embassy designed to promote stronger and more frequent communication and collaboration between Haitians at home and Haitians living in the US.

The larger goal of the eight-week program is to develop a pool of accomplished young professionals – whether they live in Haiti or the United States – and provide them with firsthand experience working in public administration to prepare them for future leadership roles in Haiti.

"These new fellows represent some of our best young minds and their impressive education and work credentials attest to this fact. They are illustrative of the very people we hope to enlist in helping chart Haiti's future," said Paul Altidor, Haiti's ambassador to the US.

This inaugural class is called the "Antenor Firmin fellows", named after famed Haitian scholar and public servant, Antenor Firmin.

The mission of the program is to involve the Haitian Diaspora more directly in Haiti's development process, engage them on important domestic public policy matters, and attract accomplished young Haitian-American professionals to live in Haiti by providing them with unique opportunities to gain invaluable work experience and be involved with setting a path for the future leadership of the country.

The program also aims to foster the professional development of Haitian students to stem the tide of talented young professionals leaving the country to build careers elsewhere.

"We hope to prove with this new initiative that we're not only committed to reversing Haiti's so-called brain drain, we're also dedicated to growing our human capacity and building upon the tremendous untapped brain power that already exists in the country," Altidor said.

The Haitian students have been placed in various departments at the embassy and will also engage with Washington-based institutions with which the embassy collaborates.

The Haitian-American graduate students will be posted in key public institutions such as the offices of the president and prime minister, the ministry for planning and external cooperation, and the ministry of Haitians living abroad. They will work closely with senior government officials to gain experience in public administration, policymaking and will also use their education and skills to enhance the work of these institutions.
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