Haiti in Crisis: The Search for a Way Forward

CLACS hosted Keith Mines and Louis-Henri Mars for a wide-ranging discussion on the prospects for international intervention in Haiti on Tuesday, May 30. Video available for those who missed it.

Haiti is experiencing one of the most difficult moments in its troubled history. In the aftermath of the July 2021 assassination of President Moïse, political instability and criminal violence affect all aspects of daily life. Gang activity has all but incapacitated efforts to provide food and medical supplies. Homicides and kidnappings have skyrocketed.

Calls for an international rescue effort have not yet been answered. The international community is struggling to find a way to support the restoration of the rule of law, provide urgently needed humanitarian assistance, and strengthen the government of Haiti's capacity to govern.

Join Keith Mines, Louis-Henri Mars, and Ambassador Patrick Duddy for a wide-ranging discussion of the current crisis, Haiti's most urgent needs, and the prospects for robust international help and what form that should take.

Keith Mines joined USIP after a career at the State Department, where he was most recently director for Andean and Venezuelan affairs. In 32 years of diplomatic and military service, he has worked on governance and institution building in Central America and Colombia and in post-conflict stabilization in Haiti.

Louis-Henri Mars is the executive director of Lakou Lapè (@lakoulape) a Port-au-Prince-based peacebuilding organization since 2013. Mr. Mars has worked in the private sector, as a business owner and manager of assembly and manufacturing plants in Haiti. He holds certificates in conflict transformation and dialogue facilitation from the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation out of Dublin, Ireland, and from the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding of Eastern Mennonite University. Since 2007, he has been exclusively engaged in activities that foster peace and reconciliation in Haiti.

Patrick Duddy is the Senior Advisor on Global Affairs at Duke University and Director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. From 2007 to 2010 he served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for President Bush and President Obama. Prior to this, Ambassador Duddy served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (DAS) for the Western Hemisphere. Currently, he is a fellow with the Caribbean Policy Consortium. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Haiti on the Brink: Chaos, Cholera & Corruption

January 25, 2023: U.S. Ambassador to Haiti (2012-2015) Pamela White

Ambassador Pamela White gave a brief overview of Haitian modern history from 1986 and how Haiti came to face perhaps its most challenging crises today. She offered some possible solutions to those complex challenges which are humanitarian, security, and political. Ambassador White spent 40-plus years serving the United States government overseas in nine countries.

flyer for Pamela White talk

She started as a peace corps volunteer in a remote village in Cameron and ended up as US Ambassador to Haiti from 2012-2015. She served as Director of USAID in Mali, Tanzania, and Liberia. She oversaw budgets ranging from $200 million to $2.2 billion targeting health, education, democracy, and economic growth. She has two master's degrees and has been selected for several prestigious awards.

Ambassador White holds the title of Career Minister, the highest rank on the Foreign Service scale. She is recognized as an expert in Haitian affairs and has appeared on PBS, and CNN testified before Congress, and recently published an op/Ed in the Washington Post. She currently serves on several boards including the School of Policy in International Affairs at the University of Maine.