In Haiti, many high-achieving individuals were born. Here is a list of a few individuals who have made a great contribution to Haitian excellence.
- Dr. Carole Berotte Joseph: During her time at Massachusetts Bay Community College, Dr. Joseph served as an educator and administrator, making her the first Haitian-born president of a US community college. Port-au-Prince is where she was born, and Brooklyn, New York is where she was raised. Her family immigrated to the U.S. when she was eight years old, and she fluently speaks English, Haitian Creole, Spanish, and French. In addition to her Spanish degree, she holds a bachelor of education degree from the City University of New York (CUNY).
- Yves Salomon-Fernández: Salomon-Fernández serves as senior vice president at Southern New Hampshire University. Previous positions held by her include president of Cumberland County College and Greenfield Community College. She made history by becoming the first black woman president and first female president of Greenfield Community College since the 1990s. It is her passion to reinvent higher education, rethink rural innovation, and empower women that makes her a recognized thought leader. In addition, Diverse Issues in Higher Education also ranked her among the Top 25 Women in Higher Education back in March 2018.
- Reginald DesRoches: DesRoches is an American civil engineer and the president of Rice University from July 1, 2022. His term as provost at Rice ended in 2022. Earlier, he held positions such as the Karen and John Huff Chair at Georgia Institute of Technology between 2012 and 2017, and he was dean of Rice’s school of engineering. Originally from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, DesRoches graduated from New York City’s high school. His doctorate in structural engineering was earned at the University of California, Berkeley, where he attended college and graduate school. During his tenure as president at Rice University in Houston, Texas, the engineer made university history as the first Black and first immigrant president.
- Dr. Reynold Verret: Xavier University of Louisiana is the only Catholic HBCU in the nation, and Verret is its sixth president and second lay leader. In 2015, the Board of Trustees unanimously elected Dr. Verret to be Xavier’s president. Dr. Verret was born in Haiti and graduated with a degree in biochemistry from Columbia University. In addition to his undergraduate degree, he also obtained a Ph.D. in biochemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- Dr. Harry Dumay: Having a long and distinguished career in higher education, Harry E. Dumay, Ph.D., has been named College of Our Lady of the Elms’ 11th president. Native to Ouanaminthe, Haiti, Dumay graduated from Lincoln University, Missouri with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical technology; from Framingham State University, with an MA in public administration; and from Boston College with a doctorate in higher education administration.
- Claudine Gay: Gay serves as an administrator at a university and a political scientist. It is anticipated that she will become Harvard’s 30th and first Black president on July 1, 2023. At Harvard, she is currently the Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as well as the Wilbur A. Cowett Professor of Government. Dr. Gay is a daughter of Haitian immigrants and graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1992 and Harvard University with a Master’s degree in government in 1998.
By Shivi Dhawan