Limousine taken to meeting







Lionel Delatour and Ambassador Preeg



Gerald Gourdain and Judith Gaskell



Jean-Michel Voltaire










Thursday, December 13, 2012, 1:00 p.m. at 1710 Rhode Island Ave. NW (offices of Manchester Trade, Ltd.)

The following board members gathered to mark the occasion:

  • Amb. Ernest Preeg, chairman
  • Sen. Rudolph Boulos, by speakerphone from Haiti
  • Lionel Delatour
  • Judith Gaskell
  • Gerald Gourdain
  • James Morrell
  • A special guest: Jean-Michel Voltaire

Accomplishments over the ten years:

  • 2002-2004. Supported Haitian civil society in necessary modernization of the state
  • 2005-2006. Promoted the three freest elections Haiti has experienced. Promoted HOPE textile initiative
  • 2007-2008. Warned of renewed threat to elections and constitution
  • 2009. Rallied intelligentsia to launch a long-term strategic plan for Haiti's modernization
  • 2010-11. Corrected presidential elections


"You played a central role in exposing fraud in the first round, which led to a recount for the second round."

—President Michel Martelly, 2011


"I want to congratulate you for the leadership. I know you played a very important role in the last election when you sent a team and basically helped the will of the people become a reality, because it wasn't so before your visit."

—Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, July 24, 2012


"Congratulations for your good work, and as I suggested in my comments ten years ago, the HDP’s honesty, discipline, and perseverance."

—Georges Fauriol, vice-president, National Endowment for Democracy, December 11, 2012

Work Undone:

  • The correction of the 2010-11 elections was incomplete, leaving the authority and competence of the state impaired
  • U.S. policy, despite positive initiatives, remains largely at a loss without a realistic management plan


Discussion by Board

James Morrell said that ten years later, Haiti did have a government seemingly more dedicated to moving the country forward and more accountable to, and supported by, the people, although this progress was precarious. U.S. policies had also slowly and painfully evolved, with equal precariousness.

In addition to the five phases of work mentioned above, Morrell singled out five cross-cutting themes:

  1. Dialogue with the policy-makers carried out by a long series of delegations from Haiti of business leaders, civil-society representatives, senators, and the Haitian-American Diaspora. Common to all these delegations was the creativity of founding board member Lionel Delatour, Morrell considered. Thanks to his planning, these delegations were uniformly received at a high level. Without them, the Haiti Democracy Project would have been isolated and eventually atrophied.
  2. The largest number of delegations was of business leaders, and by this the Haiti Democracy Project had achieved a certain degree of representation for a sector that was the nucleus of indigenous economic progress.
  3. From its inception, the Haiti Democracy Project had urged capable and honest Haitians to seek office. One founding board member, Rudolph Boulos, did exactly that. Morrell had had a chance to observe Boulos’s senatorial campaign in the Nord-Est province. With his generosity and a modesty quite untypical of Haitian politicians, he had completely won over the people of the Nord-Est creating a bond that remained strong to the present day.
  4. The increasing role of the Diaspora in the organization
  5. The 2005 seminar on reported embezzlement of the Aristide government in which the Winston Strawn law firm representing the successor Haitian government made a presentation with Judge Claudy Gassant and the prizewinning American journalist Lucy Komisar, who then made important further discoveries on her own.

Further discussion by board

Jean-Michel Voltaire.Trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, a founder of the Haitian Diaspora Federation, and chairman of the Réunion Sportive d'Haïti, a youth soccer league. Return to text