CCF Steering Commitee
Michèle Duvivier Pierre-Louis
In September 2008, Michèle Duvivier Pierre-Louis became Prime Minister of Haiti. While Prime Minister, she also served as Minister of Justice and Public Security. Upon leaving office in November 2009, Pierre-Louis resumed her activities at the Open Society Foundations–Haiti, which she had founded in 1995 under the name Fondation Connaissance et Liberté – FOKAL. She is now FOKAL’s President, coordinating special projects in Sustainable Development, Higher Education, and National Heritage with an emphasis on human rights and gender justice. She was invited to join the Open Society Foundations’ Women’s Rights Program’s Advisory Board in 2015, and since 2018 she serves as Board Chair.
In 2010, President Zapatero of Spain nominated her as a member of the International Commission against the Death Penalty, based in Spain. 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. In 2017, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres nominated her as a member of High Level Advisory Board on Mediation.
Michèle Pierre-Louis is a member and administrator of the review Chemins Critiques in which she wrote several articles along with other Haitian and Caribbean writers, on politics, gender issues, economics, arts and culture. She has also contributed to several books and reviews and serves as a a professor at Université Quisqueya, Haïti.
She 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, California.
In November 2020, as a member of the Council of Women World Leaders (CWWWL), she received the Women Political Leaders (WPL) Trailblazer Award at the Reykjavik Global Forum Women’s Leader 2020. In February 2021, she was elected Board Chair of Le Centre d’art. In March 2021, she was listed among Apolitical’s 100 Most Influential People in Gender Policy, which celebrates people working on gender policy and making the world more equitable, whether they exert their influence through policy-making, public service, research, philanthropy, advocacy, or activism.
Edwidge is a Haitian-American writer whose literary works focus on the lives of women and their relationships. She also addressed issues of power, injustice, and poverty. She is the author of several books, including Breath, Eyes, Memory, an Oprah Book Club selection, Krik? Krak!, a National Book Award finalist, The Farming of Bones, The Dew Breaker, Create Dangerously, Claire of the Sea Light, and Everything Inside. She is also the editor of The Butterfly’s Way: Voices from the Haitian Dyaspora in the United States, Best American Essays 2011, Haiti Noir and Haiti Noir 2.
She has written seven books for children and young adults, Anacaona, Behind the Mountains, Eight Days, The Last Mapou, Mama’s Nightingale, Untwine, My Mommy Medicine, as well as a travel narrative, After the Dance. Her memoir, Brother, I’m Dying, was a 2007 finalist for the National Book Award and a 2008 winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography. She is a 2009 MacArthur fellow, a 2018 Ford Foundation “The Art of Change” fellow, and the winner of the 2018 Neustadt International Prize and the 2019 St. Louis Literary Award. She is a member of the Technical and Scientific Committee of Le Centre d’Art.
Laurent is the Marcello Lotti Professor of Romance Studies and History and founder of the Forum for Scholars & Publics at Duke University. His studies have focused on Haiti. Dubois was an undergraduate at Princeton University, graduating in 1992, then earned his Ph.D. from University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1998. Dubois’s main areas of research deal with the history of Haiti and the politics of soccer.
He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship. His book A Colony of Citizens: Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804 won the 2005 Frederick Douglass Prize. He is a member of the Technical and Scientific Committee of Le Centre d’Art.
Albertine Kopp is an independent cultural agent and the founder of the Caribbean Art Initiative, a not-for-profit program that aims to support contemporary arts from and across the Caribbean region and promote its cause globally. She supports artists, collectors, corporations and institutions with her knowhow and network in arts and culture, in combination with marketing and corporate social responsibility. Kopp led the Davidoff Art Initiative for six years, until the project ended in 2018. She has formed a deep network of Caribbean artists, institutions, and local businesses, and has promoted Caribbean art at international art fairs and exhibitions such as Art Basel, Venice Biennale, Frieze, and ARCO.
She has connected Caribbean artists to widely recognized institutions in New York, London, Berlin, Beijing, and Bogota and created a lively artist residency exchange that also allowed various international artists to work in the Caribbean. Her work was recognized with the European Corporate Art Award in 2017. Throughout her career, Albertine Kopp has worked in the arts, communications and marketing with museums, art fairs and corporations. Prior to focusing on Caribbean art, she worked with the Volta Art Fair, the Deutsche Bank Collection, and Louis Vuitton Communications in New York, Paris and Frankfurt. Albertine is member of the board of Kunsthalle Basel.
Lorraine has studied theatre and art history in England and in the United States (BA, MA) and communications in Canada (MA). She returned to Haiti in 1986 and worked at the Haitian Ministry of Education as part of a team in charge of developing new pedagogical tools. In 1987, she became program officer at the Haitian Association of Voluntary Agencies for training and communications programs, while conducting theatre workshops for grassroots groups. She has assisted the board and executive director in the creation of the conceptual framework and administration of FOKAL, where she held the title of deputy director since 1995 and in 2008, she became its Executive Director. She serves on the advisory board of the Centre d’Art and the TiPa TiPa Foundation. She has contributed to a number of publications on the social, cultural and political issues facing Haiti in the post-dictatorship era and has also taught at the Haitian state university.
Courtenay Williams is an Attorney-at-Law who has been in practice for 27 years, most of which have been spent at the private bar, specialising in banking, privatisation, commercial, intellectual property, project financing, capital market and debt restructuring transactions. Mr. Williams graduated from the University of the West Indies with a Bachelor of Laws Degree (Honours). He also obtained a Legal Education Certificate from the Hugh Wooding Law School in 1987 and he has also tutored there. He was appointed to the Board of First Citizens Bank Limited on June 17, 2014 and subsequently as Chairman of the Board of First Citizens Trustee Services Limited and a Director on the Boards of First Citizens (St. Lucia) Limited and First Citizens Financial Services (St. Lucia) Limited.
Williams is currently also the Chairman of the Legislative Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad and Tobago, a Senior Ordinary member of the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago, and a member of the Disciplinary Committee of the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago. He is a Consultant with Lex Caribbean, Attorneys-at-Law and Notaries Public. Mr. Williams is a past President of the Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago and Deputy Chairman of the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company Limited. He is a passionate collector of art by Trinidadian and other Caribbean artists.
Yolanda Wood Pujols
Dr Yolanda Wood is a Cuban art critic, art historian, professor and researcher. She holds a PhD in Art History. She is the founder of the Chair of Caribbean Art at the University of Havana, and she has lectured on Cuban and Caribbean Art at different academic levels and institutions. She was also Dean at the Faculty of Arts and Letters at the Havana University (1994-2000) and Vice-chancellor at the Superior Institute of Art in Cuba (1985-91). She has served as guest professor at the Iberoamericana University and Anahuac University in Mexico City, and has presented lectures and graduate courses at the Institute of Aesthetic Investigations (Mexico), the Polytechnic University (Valencia) and Quisqueya University (Haiti), among others. She has also served as Cuban Cultural Advisor in France (2000-05) and as Director of the Center of Caribbean Studies in Casa de las Américas, in Havana, Cuba, and its journal Anales del Caribe (2006-2016).
Wood Pujols has published scholarly work in national and international specialized magazines and her books include: Proyectos de artistas cubanos en los años 30 (2006), Islas del Caribe: naturaleza-arte-sociedad (2012) and Caribe: universo visual (2017). She has carried out study trips to several countries in Europe and the Americas and has travelled widely in the Caribbean.
Wood Pujols is a member of the of the Visual Arts Association (UNEAC) in Cuba and of AICA International. She was the president of the Caribbean Studies Association from 2017-2018. She is a member of the Technical and Scientific Committee of Le Centre d’Art.
Oussama Rifahi is a board member of the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, and its executive director until 2016. Starting his career as a geophysical engineer, Oussama was project manager at the Canadian Space Agency and helped launching start-ups in renewable energies in Europe. Oussama led the development of the tourism and culture strategies in Abu Dhabi with Mubadala and feasibility studies for modern and contemporary museums with the Guggenheim Foundation and GCAM in New York. Oussama coaches public-benefit organizations on philanthropy and leadership and advises corporations and governments on strategy, governance, communications and fundraising. Oussama is involved in the design and implementation of national cultural strategies, cultural programs and museum development projects in Europe, the MENA region and Africa.
Allenby Augustin, a cultural organizations management specialist, was born in Haiti in 1983. In 2010, with friends, he founded Akoustik Prod, a cultural association. The same year he created in les Cayes the Krik-Krak festival, a festival of storytelling, games and of traditional music, which includes the parade "Bann konte", a procession of Rara, storytelling and traditional music.
In 2013, under his direction, Akoustik Prod launched in collaboration with FOKAL on the occasion of Heritage Days, "Atis nan kay la", an artistic journey into the Gingerbread houses which are transformed into ephemeral artistic places: Bande à pied, exhibitions, concerts, and poetry are among the surprises for the pedestrian.
After his master's degree in Management of Cultural Organizations at Paris-Dauphine University in 2016, Augustin developed in the popular neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince the project "Nou Pran Lari A" an artistic and social movement, promoting the work of artists and artisans from working-class neighborhoods. Allenby Augustin is now the Executive Director of Le Centre d’Art of Port-au-Prince.