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Embassy of Haiti Announces Summer Fellowship Program for Haitian-Americans to work in Port-au-Prince, Haiti

The Embassy of Haiti in Washington, D.C. is pleased to announce the launch of an annual, summer-long USA-Haiti Fellowship Program targeting collegiate students and young professionals of Haitian descent in the United States. This Summer Fellowship is part of the Haitian Government’s commitment to the involvement of its diaspora in the country’s development process.

The Fellowship is an eight- to ten-week assignment in Port-au-Prince, from June to August 2014, at key government institutions. The Embassy will select six individuals, each with a demonstrated commitment to the development of Haiti. The six selected fellows will be placed at the National Palace, the Office of the Prime Minister, and other key ministries.

Each year, the class of fellows will be named after a Haitian historical figure who has demonstrated a passion for public life. The 2014 inaugural class will be known as the Anténor Firmin Fellows. Joseph Auguste Anténor Firmin was a leading thinker of his time. An accomplished Haitian lawyer, anthropologist, diplomat, and government official, he fought for Black civil rights. Born in Cap Haitien, Haiti on October 18, 1850, Firmin was a contemporary of Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, and W.E.B. DuBois. Firmin published a widely read book titled “l’Égalité des Races Humaines” (The Equality of the Human Races). His position in this book, racial equality could be demonstrated through rational and scientific analysis, is considered radical for its time. He was also a visionary in predicting, “it seems quite possible that, in less than a century from now, a Black man might be called to head the government of Washington.” Firmin hoped to “inspire in all of the children of the Black race around the world the love of progress, justice, and liberty.” A similar purpose of this program is to inspire in fellows a passion for progress, justice, and liberty through public service.

Fellows will be given the opportunity to work closely with senior government officials and gain experience in public administration and policy making, while applying their qualifications to the benefit of Haiti. The program is geared toward candidates with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, and in exceptional cases a rising undergraduate senior may be considered. Candidates from all disciplines are encouraged to apply, particularly applicants with knowledge and experience in law, political science, statistics, economics, public administration, business and international development.

Selection criteria for the fellowship program include:

  • Proof of academic standing (rising undergraduate senior, bachelor’s degree, currently enrolled or recent graduate of a graduate program)
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills.
  • Written and/or verbal proficiency in French and/or Creole preferred, but not required.
  • Excellent interpersonal abilities, including problem solving, working independently and in groups
  • Outstanding research and analytical skills
  • Strong attention to detail, organizational skills and basic administrative capabilities
  • Demonstrated maturity to work in high-pressure situations with good humor, grace and a positive attitude
  • Knowledge and experience in monitoring and evaluating projects is preferred, but not required

The fellowships are unpaid, and all costs associated with travel, transportation, lodging, and personal expenses are the sole responsibility of the fellows. The estimated cost for participation in this fellowship is approximately $4,500 USD. Please note that costs may vary significantly based on personal preferences. Transportation to and from the assigned work place will be provided, and assistance in locating lodging is available upon request.

Interested candidates should send their application via email to the Embassy of Haiti at NO LATER THAN Friday, March 7, 2014 and include “USA-Haiti Fellowship” in the subject line.

Application packages must include:

  • Letter of Interest (1 page)
  • Professional Resume
  • Academic Transcript
  • Writing Sample (3 to 5 pages)
  • Two academic and/or professional letters of recommendation

Please note any late or incomplete applications will not be considered. Only selected candidates will be contacted for an interview by the Fellowship Selection Committee, no later than April 1, 2014. Information on selection status will not be provided by phone.