Raising Haiti Foundation BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Father Joseph B. Philippe, CSSp

Founder and Coordinator of APF, UNIF and Fonkoze

Father Joseph B. Philippe, CSSp, founded Fonkoze, a microfinance firm, in 1994 and continues to serve as Coordinator of Fonkoze, President of Fonkoze Financial Services, and a Board Director of Fonkoze USA. Father Joseph is also the founder of the Peasant Association of Fondwa (APF) and has been its coordinator since 1988. As part of the APF, Father Joseph established and helps manage numerous commercial projects, including an agricultural, reforestation and animal husbandry project, a bakery, a guest center/educational tourist program and a restaurant, as well as an auto parts shop, a guest house, a cement store and a scaffolding rental company. In 2004, Father Joseph also founded the University of Fondwa, an educational institution committed to sustainable and integrated development in rural Haiti.

In 1982, Father Joseph became a member of the Spiritan Catholic Holy Order (Holy Ghost Fathers) and was ordained as a priest. From 1993 to 2001, he was a Bursar for the Spiritan Order, and a member of the Spiritan Order’s Executive Council. He has also served as a member of the Spiritan Order’s training program team for seminarians since 1995. In 2004, Father Joseph was elected the Provincial Superior for the Haiti province of the Spiritan Fathers and served a three-year term.

Father Joseph holds an undergraduate degree in commercial accounting from the “Ecole de Commerce” André Laroche, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and a Master of Divinity degree with special studies in liturgy and politics from Catholic Theological Union, Chicago. He has also studied credit cooperative management at the Centre Lebret in Paris, and attended training in banking administration at Fairfield University in Connecticut. He also received a Doctorate Honorary Degree at the University of San Francisco, California in 2009 for his work on humanitarian and development aiding the poor.

David Hoffman

CO-Executive Director • Board Member of Raising Haiti Foundation

David Hoffman is the Executive Director and member of the Board of the Raising Haiti Foundation.

Formerly a successful oceanfront real estate developer and marketer, Hoffman established the Hoffman Group, Inc. in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in 1984. He achieved billions in sales and development over a 20-year period before selling his various businesses and retiring at the age of fifty.

Since his retirement, Hoffman has been active in a variety of human rights campaigns. In 2011, he conceived and developed the Education Under Fire Campaign, in partnership with Amnesty International and with the support of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates – Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Jose Ramos Horta, the President of East Timor – inspiring universities across the globe to accept accreditation of an underground higher education institution established by the Baha’is of Iran, who are denied the right to attend university by the government of the country.

Hoffman visited Haiti in 2013 when he was introduced to the work of Father Joseph Philippe. Moved by the grassroots nature of the work and the resilience of the people of Fondwa, who have persevered despite every conceivable challenge, Hoffman agreed to become a board member and the Executive Director of the Raising Haiti Foundation. He quickly raised enough funds to open offices, hire a lean staff based in Washington, DC, and develop a brand identity in advance of the commercial release of, ‘Father Joseph,’ a new documentary that would give lift and credibility to the Initiative.

Hoffman is also credited as executive producer for the films ‘Education Under Fire,’ ‘The Savoy King’ and ‘Father Joseph’.

Mary Susan Carlson, M.D.

CO-Executive Director • Board Member of Raising Haiti Foundation

Mary Susan Carlson, M.D. is a Georgetown grad and has served the DC Metro area as an award winning ophthalmologist for nearly three decades. However, her work stretches far beyond the beltway. As a volunteer surgeon for World Blindness Outreach since 2000, Dr. Carlson has performed ophthalmic surgery to Vietnam, Ecuador, Honduras, The Philippines, Cambodia, Ghana, The Democratic Republic of the Congo and twice in Ethiopia. World blindness Outreach recognized Dr. Carlson for her invaluable work in 2004 with the Outstanding Volunteer Service Award. In 2007 she provided ophthalmic consultation on an eye mission in Bolivia with The Lion's Club. From 2009-2013 she performed ophthalmic surgery on five trips to El Salvador with Eye Care International.  In 2011 she performed cataract surgery in India through Surgical Eye Expeditions.

Of all the places she has been so gracious to volunteer her exceptional skill and service, there is one that holds a special place in her heart. Haiti has been a special place for Dr. Carlson and she has been traveled to Haiti as a medical volunteer with Our Lady Queen since 2001 on 21 trips. These trips provide medical care, build schools, develop clean water and reforestation programs, and organize several eye and pediatric clinics. Dr. Carlson has received the David Lawrence Community Service Award given to only 14 awardees by Kaiser Permanente for her extraordinary efforts to improve the health of communities in Haiti. The OLQP team dedicates endless hours focusing on basic health measures concerning clean water, sanitation, agro-forestry, nutrition and education. Several of the trips provided general medical clinics and eight of the trips provided an eye glasses clinic.

Since 2004 Dr. Carlson has been the Chairperson of the Haiti Committee at OLQP, who is partnered with a parish in Medor, Haiti.  The two churches have worked together to build an elementary school and a secondary school, start a school lunch program and support a rudimentary health clinic in this mountainous area. They also join efforts on clean water, sanitation and agroforestry initiatives. The work Dr. Carlson and OLQP have done in Haiti has received much acclaim including a feature in the Arlington Catholic Herald in 2012 but most notably on NBC's Dateline “Rescue in the Mountains” in 2011.

In 2017 Dr. Carlson traveled to Fondwa, Haiti for six weeks in a combined effort with Raising Haiti Foundation, the Associations of the Peasants of Fondwa (APF) and the University of Fondwa to launch a truly inspiring and transformational initiative called the 3 Legs Program. Traveling to a number of communities with APF leadership, including Father Joseph Phillipe and Raising Haiti executive director David Hoffman, Dr. Carlson was instrumental in the launch of the 3 Legs Pilot Program. This trip was an amazing success and the pilot program sent 19 students to the University of Fondwa in the Spring of 2017. Dr. Carlson was also confirmed as co-executive director of the Raising Haiti Foundation in early 2017 where she will be working alongside David Hoffman to continue the work of helping Haitians uplift Haiti, one community at a time.

Vlad Petrov

Board Member of Raising Haiti Foundation

After graduating with BA in Economics from GWU with emphasis on development economics, I began my professional career at Glassman-Oliver Economic Consultants, the top antitrust economic consulting firm in the US, where I eventually transitioned from research analyst to IT director. Eventually I left the lucrative “for-profit” sector and applied my talents in a more meaningful capacity, spending the last 10 years working in the nonprofit sector focused on alleviating poverty and saving the oceans.

NGOs include: Grameen Foundation USA, Oceana, Fonkoze USA, Raising Haiti Foundation

Andy Gale

Board Chair of Raising Haiti Foundation

During Mr. Gale’s30-year career with Tishman Construction Corporation (New York City’s largest building construction company), his clarity of vision, ability to effectively communicate with others, and strong engineering background has allowed him to excel in key leadership positions on some of the City’s most challenging and important construction projects. Andy’s expertise spans numerous areas including infrastructure, transportation, commercial, residential, data centers, marine, hotel building projects. Andy’s strongest skill is leading others and empowering others to succeed. Andy’s goal in Haiti is to create an environment and organization that allows APF to achieve sustainable success for generations to come.

Leigh Carter

Treasurer and Secretary of the Board of Raising Haiti Foundation

Leigh Carter is the founder of Fonkoze USA. An early career in human rights activism in Central America led Leigh Carter to Haiti in 1991 where she was deeply motivated by the Haitian people, their culture, history, and struggle for democracy. Ms. Carter began working at the Washington Office on Haiti, the voice of the Haitian democracy movement on Capitol Hill. In 1996, she met the grassroots leader and founder of Fondasyon Kole Zepòl (Fonkoze) in Haiti, Father Joseph Philippe, and learned of Father Philippe’s dream of economic democracy for the poor of Haiti and his dream of a “bank the poor could call their own.” Father Joseph was determined to built a bank national in scope that would provide the poor, especially women entrepreneurs (ti machann, or rural market women), with the financial, educational and development services they required to rebuild their own country and their own lives.

That same year, Ms. Carter founded Fonkoze USA, a U.S. nonprofit organization with the mission to raise funds and awareness for Fonkoze. By tapping into the Alternative Investment movement of the U.S. religious community through the Interfaith Council on Corporate Responsibility, Ms. Carter quickly built a loan fund that provided the initial microcredit loans to solidarity groups of Haitian ti machann. In the past 19 years, Fonkoze USA has leveraged millions of dollars for Fonkoze in Haiti. Today, Fonkoze, with the assistance of Fonkoze USA and many other partners, has 45 branch locations in every department of Haiti, and over 250,000 borrowers or savings clients, and close to 900 employees. In post-earthquake Haiti, Fonkoze is the “bank on which the poor of Haiti can rely.”

Ms. Carter is also serving as Treasurer/Secretary of Raising Haiti Foundation.

Andre Vainqueur

Board MEMBER of Raising Haiti Foundation

The Board Member of Raising Haiti Foundation, André is educated in both Haiti and the USA. He studied Business and Public Administration, earned a Bachelor in Public Administration from INAGEHI, a Master’s Certificate in Project Management from Villanova University, Pennsylvania, USA and an MBA with concentration in General Management at Strayer University in Washington DC, USA.

From 1990 to 1996, he was a member of the Board of Director and Co-Director of the Washington Office on Haiti, a grass root organization founded by the late Father Jim Healy and Father Antoine Adrien both Spiritans priests and Intellectuals supporting Democracy in Haiti. André played an instrumental role in fighting for the return of Democracy to Haiti in the 1990’s. During that period he was an advisor to Father Joseph on the creation of Fonkoze and a consultant to the Haitian Embassy in Washington DC; a spokesperson for the Haitian American Diaspora and a liaison between the Haitian Communities and supporters of Haiti.

After fifteen years of professional management experience in the private and public sector he returned to Non Profit after the earthquake of January 12, 2010. Working as a volunteer, he spearheaded the establishment of Raising Haiti Foundation to continue supporting Father Joseph Philippe’s vision to empower Rural Haiti through education and the creation of wealth. Mr. Vainqueur now serves on the Board of Directors. Mr. Vainqueur communicates effectively in English, Spanish, French and Haitian Creole.

Nick Miller

General COUNSEL • Raising Haiti Foundation

Nicholas P. Miller is a partner in Best Best & Krieger LLP’s Municipal Law practice group in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Prior to joining the firm in 2011, he was a named partner of Miller & Van Eaton, a nationally recognized telecommunications law firm.

Mr. Miller’s practice focuses on representing local governments in the law and policy governing modern wireline and wireless telecommunications networks, and the legislative aspects of communications law. He represents local governments and joint powers authorities across the nation in the regulation, procurement, deployment and operation of modern telecommunications systems. Mr. Miller is well-known for the many telecommunications transactions he has negotiated on behalf of local governments, including cable television franchises, right-of-way agreements, fiber optic and wireless partnerships, and government owned and operated telecommunications networks. He has worked extensively with the national local government associations, as well as individual communities, before the Federal Communications Commission and the Congress.

Mr. Miller has worked with international multilateral agencies engaged in telecommunications policy advice to developing countries. He represented local governments in lobbying the Cable Act of 1984 and 1992, the AT&T divestiture and the Telecommunications Act of 1996. He represented the national coalition of education groups in the development of the school and library universal service discount program established by the 1996 Act.

Mr. Miller received his law degree and his undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Washington where he was a member of the Washington Law Review. Mr. Miller is a member of the Federal Communications Bar Association, and an honorary life-time member and 1995 Member of the Year of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors. He is also a member of the International Municipal Lawyers Association which named him Associate Member of the Year for 2008. He served in the U.S. Navy in Vietnam. Mr. Miller was a founding partner of the Washington, D.C. law firm of Miller and Holbrooke.

OUR Raising Haiti Foundation TEAM

Janette Hoffman


Arthur Green




1718 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 201 • Washington, DC 20009

PO Box 21624 • Washington, DC 20009

phone: (202) 800-7077

email: info@raisinghaiti.org


Raising Haiti Foundation is an authorized business name for Association of the Peasants of Fondwa, USA Inc., a District of Columbia 501(c)3 charitable entity.