The WISE Prize for Education


Dr. Michèle D. Pierre-Louis

Position: Former Prime Minister
Country: Haiti
Since returning to Haiti in 1976 after studying abroad and obtaining an M.A. in Economics from Queens College of The City University of New York, Michèle D. Pierre-Louis has devoted special attention to education, access to information and culture. She has also served in the banking sector and in government agencies. In 1986 she became a national trainer in a major literacy campaign, Mission Alpha. In 1991, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide called on her to serve as a member of his private cabinet. In 1995 she created Fondation Connaissance et Liberté (FOKAL, Knowledge and Freedom Foundation, www.fokal.org), a member of the Open Society Institute – Soros Foundation’s network – which she directed for 13 years. FOKAL focuses on education, culture, community development, environment, gender equity, and civil society endeavors.

From 1989 through 2006, Michèle D. Pierre-Louis was a member of the CheminsCritiques review for which she wrote articles on politics, economics, arts and culture. In September 2008, she became Prime Minister of Haiti, while also serving as Minister of Justice and Public Security. Upon leaving office in November 2009, she returned to FOKAL as President, coordinating special projects related to Haiti’s post-earthquake reconstruction efforts. Pierre-Louis is also a University teacher and often lectures in foreign universities. She holds a Doctorate Honoris Causa in Humanities from Saint Michael College in Vermont. From September through December 2010, she was a Resident Fellow at Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government/Institute of Politics. In 2011, President Zapatero of Spain invited her to become a member of the International Commission against the Death Penalty.