Michèle Pierre-Louis

Michèle Duvivier Pierre-Louis (born 5 October 1947)[1][2] is a Haitian politician who was Prime Minister of Haiti from September 2008 to November 2009. She was Haiti's second female Prime Minister,[3] after Claudette Werleigh, who served from 1995 to 1996.[4]

Michèle Pierre-Louis
Prime Minister Michele Pierre-Louis of Haiti - 2009 (cropped).JPG
14th Prime Minister of Haiti
In office
5 September 2008 – 11 November 2009
PresidentRené Préval
Preceded byJacques-Édouard Alexis
Succeeded byJean-Max Bellerive
Personal details
Born (1947-10-05) 5 October 1947 (age 74)
Political partyIndependent
Alma materCity University of New York, Queens


Pierre-Louis has been the Executive Director of the Knowledge and Freedom Foundation (FOKAL),[5] a non-governmental organization financed by George Soros, since 1995.

In June 2008 Pierre-Louis was nominated as Prime Minister by President René Préval,[2] after Préval's two previous nominees were rejected by the Chamber of Deputies. Her nomination was approved by the Chamber of Deputies on 17 July 2008, with 61 votes in favor, one opposed, and 20 abstentions.[5][6] It was approved by the Senate on 31 July, with 12 votes in favor, 5 abstentions and none opposed. Her political programme and government still had to be approved by the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.[3][7]

Préval announced the composition of the new government on 25 August; aside from Pierre-Louis herself, there were 17 ministers, seven of whom were retained from the previous government of Jacques-Édouard Alexis. Pierre-Louis was appointed as Minister of Justice and Public Security, in addition to serving as Prime Minister. The government was to have been installed on 26 August, but this was delayed due to the impact of Hurricane Gustav.[8]

Pierre-Louis' political programme and government were approved by the Chamber of Deputies and subsequently by the Senate on 5 September 2008, following extended negotiations. 16 votes were needed in the Senate; she received only 15 in the first vote, but in a second vote held shortly afterward she gained the necessary additional vote. There were no opposing votes, but one senator abstained. This vote occurred as Haiti was ravaged by the effects of Hurricane Hanna and Hurricane Ike, presenting a daunting challenge to Pierre-Louis and her government.[9]

The British weekly news and international affairs publication The Economist referred to Pierre-Louis in their publication "The World in Figures 2010", writing:

Long known as the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, Haiti has stumbled from one crisis to another since the Duvalier years. But under its prime minister, Michèle Pierre-Louis, the country has an opportunity to make substantial and sustainable gains in both economics and politics. Her domestic achievements are already considerable, holding together a diverse coalition and quelling a determined opposition. Abroad, she has worked well with international leaders and won some influential friends, including Bill Clinton, a former US president. The tenure of Ms Pierre-Louis, whose social-activist brother-in-law was assassinated in 1998, may conceivably mark a turning-point in the country's long battle with extreme poverty, bloody confrontation and deep-rooted social injustice.[10]

After a year senators from Préval's party complained that people's living standards were not improving. Others thought it was unfair to place the blame on Pierre-Louis for 200 years of poverty and social inequality, but the prime minister and her cabinet were voted down and out on 11 November 2009.[11]

In the wake of the 2010 Haiti earthquake Pierre-Louis wrote a piece for the Huffington Post outlining her vision for a three-phase plan for the community: rescue, recovery and reconstruction.[12]

Other activitiesEdit


  1. ^ Haiti Analysis Archived 2008-12-03 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b "Haitian president Preval names a new prime minister" Archived 2008-07-03 at the Wayback Machine, AFP, 23 June 2008.
  3. ^ a b "Haiti lawmakers ratify 2nd female prime minister", Associated Press, 31 July 2008. Archived August 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Skard, Torild (2014) "Three Haitian women" in Women of power - half a century of female presidents and prime ministers worldwide, Bristol: Policy Press, ISBN 978-1-44731-578-0
  5. ^ a b "Haitian deputies approve Pierre-Louis for prime minister" Archived 2010-04-20 at the Wayback Machine, AFP, July 17, 2008.
  6. ^ "Haitian lower house approves PM nominee", Xinhua (People's Daily Online), 18 July 2008.
  7. ^ "Pierre-Louis in Haiti als Ministerpräsidentin bestätigt", NZZ Online, 1 August 2008 (in German).
  8. ^ Jacqueline Charles, "Hurricane Gustav postpones installation of Haiti government", Miami Herald, 26 August 2008.
  9. ^ Jacqueline Charles, "Haiti OK's new prime minister, government", Miami Herald, 5 September 2008.
  10. ^ "The world in figures: Countries". The Economist.
  11. ^ Skard (2014), p. 267
  12. ^ Pierre-Louis, Michèle (2010-01-25). "My Pride and Hope for Haiti". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2010-02-08.
  13. ^ Michèle Pierre-Louis Open Society Foundations.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by Prime Minister of Haiti
Succeeded by