Since returning to Haiti in 1976, Michele Duvivier Pierre-Louis has been a devoted advocate on education, access to information, and culture. In 1991, she served in the cabinet of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, directing projects to redefine the mission of the state, coordinate activities between the presidency and ministries, and survey peasant land reform demands.
In 1995, Pierre-Louis worked with the Open Society Foundations to establish the Fondation Connaissance et Liberte (FOKAL), which she directed for 13 years. In September 2008, Pierre-Louis became the second woman to serve as prime minister of Haiti and also headed the ministries of justice and public security. Upon leaving office in November 2009, she returned as FOKAL’s president and coordinated special postearthquake reconstruction projects.
Pierre-Louis holds an MA in economics from Queens College of the City University of New York and honorary degrees in the humanities from Saint Michael College, Vermont, and the University of San Francisco. From September through December 2010, she was a resident fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. In November 2014, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon appointed her to a high level panel on technology for the least developed countries.