Executive Director: Karl Jean-Louis
OCAPH Executive Director Karl Jean-Louis has more than 20 years of field experience managing complex programs in conflict and post-conflict countries including Haiti, Rwanda, Congo, and Burundi. From 2007-2009, as Haiti Country Director for Pact International, Jean-Louis managed a $15 million, USAID-sponsored consortium charged with improving Haitian NGOs’ ability to make their voices heard through advocacy campaigns. The following year, as Executive Director for Haiti Aid Watchdog (now OCAPH), he took on responsibility for assessing the impact of the $2.5 billion international humanitarian assistance to Haiti in response to the recent devastating earthquake and reporting out on irregularities. In 2015, he returned to the civil society sector as OCAPH’s Senior Advisor while also providing consulting services to national and international organizations in the areas of capacity building institutions, strengthening capacity of civil society, humanitarian aid management, elections, and public administration reforms.
He holds a Master’s Degree in Food Resources and Economics from the University of Florida and is a Fellow of the National Center for State Courts. He is fluent in French, Creole, and English.
Board Member: Judithe Registre
For more than two decades, Judithe Registre has traveled the world working with organizations determined to make a change in the lives of those living in extreme poverty and surviving in unbelievable circumstances. Judithe’s work as program director with Plan International, Women for Women International, the International Foundation for Election Systems, Africare and Freedom House has taken her to many developing countries to work for women’s political and socioeconomic rights and improved citizens’ political and social participation, as well as working on anti-poverty and economic development issues.
Communications Consultant: Elaine M. Koerner
Ms. Koerner is a Senior Communications and Outreach Consultant with expertise in the areas of international development, women’s issues, and environmental protection. Recent consulting positions include Proposal and Report Writer for the Because I am a Girl campaign of Plan International; subject matter included improving access to education for girls in Ethiopia; developing leadership programs for girls in Egypt; improving maternal and child nutrition in Indonesia; protecting girls from gender-based violence in Sierra Leone; and preventing child trafficking in Nepal. She also was hired as Case Studies Writer for Bloomberg Bureau of National Affairs.
Previously, she served as the Designated Federal Officer for the Good Neighbor Environmental Board, a Presidential Advisory Committee, and NGO Liaison at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. Past positions also include Newsletter Editor for the Strategic Planning Society in London and Editorial Assistant for Engineering Index in New York. Volunteer work has included coordinating a pen pal program for women transitioning from prison back into the community, and tutoring urban elementary school age children in reading. Ms. Koerner is a Charter Member of the National Women’s History Museum. She holds a Master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts and in addition to her primary language, English, speaks French and basic Spanish.
Senior Advisor on Government: Wesner Emmanuel
Mr. Emmanuel, a former Member of Haiti’s Senate, is an expert on the Haitian government, political science, and parliamentary affairs. He attended the state university, la Faculté de Droit et des Sciences Economiques de l’Université d’Etat d’Haiti in Port au Prince. After working as the Secretary General for UDOTECE, he returned to academics, obtaining additional degrees as an Expert of International Affairs before becoming a professor of Geography, History, and Civil Society development. In 1990, he was initially elected to the Senate for a mandate of two years and served a second mandate in 1999. During his time in the Senate, he served for a number of Commissions, including the Commission of Foreign Affairs, the Commission of Education, the Commission of Bicameral Affairs, and the Commission of Ethics.
In between these two mandates, he continued to engage in politics, working to negotiate the return of the democratically elected President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide and working with Aristide’s government following his return to power. After his two terms in office, Emmanuel became a Member of the President’s Cabinet and served as the Haitian representative to UNESCO, the UN’s organization on education and science. Continuing his devotion to improving the state of Haiti and the lives of Haitian people, Emmanuel continues to follow his interests of history and civil rights, publishing a number of articles for Haitian journals.
Board Member: Louis Herns Marcelin
Dr. Marcelin is a sociocultural anthropologist whose research focuses on anthropology of family and kinship in the Americas. His research also examines questions related to health and human security, and the roles of power, violence, and marginalization in society (particularly in Brazil, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and the United States). He began his career conducting extensive field research on family, kinship, and religious practices in rural and urban areas of Haiti, which became a widely-used and widely-cited reference among social scientists interested in understanding Haitian sociocultural dynamics.
In furtherance of these research interests he was awarded NIH/NIDA research grants to implement the Haitian Adolescent Study over 13 years to investigate the intersections of marginalization, health risks, drug use, gang violence, and immigration processes in the United States (South Florida). With these in mind, in 2007, he led the creation of the Interuniversity Institute for Research and Development-INURED in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. INURED is a transnational and transdisciplinary institute with the mission to contribute to the development of high-level research and scientific training in Haiti and the Caribbean with the aim of improving the educational, socio-economic, and political condition of these societies.
James Lazarre, Director, Espace Jeunes OCAPH (Youth Unit)
Mr. Lazarre holds a degree in business administration and currently is studying to obtain a diploma in marketing, management, and public relations. His eventual aim is to obtain an MBA. Other activities include plans to open an orphanage. He believes strongly that Haitian youth hold the key to his nation’s future.
Website & Research Intern: Allison Bejar
Allison is a rising senior at the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She is double concentrating in international economics and development and is also minoring in French. She is particularly interested in international aid transparency and the economic empowerment of marginalized communities. She recently studied abroad with the Council on International Educational Exchange’s Development Studies program in Dakar, Senegal. While abroad, she interned as a research assistant with a local nonprofit that advocates for women’s rights. She worked to strengthen their network and increase citizen participation through a comprehensive social media strategy. Allison is now interning with OCAPH as our website and social media manager.