Chad W. Bissonnette, Co-founder and Executive Director
Chad holds a bachelors degree in International Relations from American University in Washington, DC. Before graduating from American however, Chad spent a year at Emerson College in Boston, MA, studying PR/Marketing, and two years in Spain teaching for the Spanish Government and acquiring a diploma in Hispanic Language and Culture Studies from the University of Salamanca. Chad began traveling to Haiti in 2005 and co-founded Roots of Development in 2007. He currently serves as its Executive Director, and is responsible for the creation and implementation of the organization’s unique approach to development. When in Haiti, Chad spends most of his time on the island of La Gonave, where his organization works with a set of communities determined to manage their own development. With the motto “Development without Dependency”, Chad speaks regularly about empowerment and community-driven development and his work in Haiti, at high schools and universities along the East Coast. He has also written several articles on those subjects in the Huffington Post. Chad grew up in Connecticut, and has traveled and lived a substantial amount of time overseas (Spain, South Africa, Brazil, Haiti, etc.). He speaks English, Spanish and Haitian Creole. Chad currently resides in Washington, DC.
Lineda Paul, Field Director
Lineda is Roots of Development’s Field Director and is based in Haiti. She plays a crucial role in the implementation of Roots’ projects. Lineda facilitates all of Roots’ relationships with its community-based partners (community-based organizations) and technical partners. Based primarily at Roots’ office on La Gonave, Lineda has played a major role in helping Roots solidify its presence on the island. She is responsible for all activities on-the-ground and for the monitoring and evaluation of past and current projects. Lineda works closely with our local community partners, helping them continuously evaluate their strengths and weaknesses and strengthen their capacity. Lineda studied Development Science at Paodes University in Port-au-Prince and previously worked as a Program Director with Techo Haiti. Since joining Roots of Development, Lineda has contributed significantly to Roots’ growth and success. She has helped Roots develop more partnerships, take on bigger projects, and manage a new office and training space on La Gonave. Lineda was born into a family of 6 in Cayes, in the south of Haiti, and speaks Haitian Creole, French, Spanish, and is learning English.
Hubert Normil, Program Consultant
Hubert is a local and community development specialist. He earned a master’s degree in Community Development in France, and has over 20 years of work experience. Over these past 20 years, Hubert has had the opportunity to work with UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), Oxfam, World Vision, CRWRC, and several other international organizations and agencies. He is a founding member of CDECH (Centre de Développement et de Croissance Humaine), an organization supporting community development efforts in Haiti. And while Hubert is Haitian, he splits his time between Haiti and Canada, where his wife and two sons live. Hubert’s passion is to work alongside people and communities, to help them bring about sustainable change.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Jessica Desvarieux is a multimedia journalist who serves as the Capitol Hill correspondent for the Real News Network. Most recently, Ms. Desvarieux worked as a producer for the ABC Sunday morning program, This Week with Christianne Amanpour. Before moving to Washington DC, Ms. Desvarieux served as the Haiti correspondent for TIME Magazine and TIME.com. Previously, she was as an on-air reporter for New York tri-state cable outlet Regional News Network, where she worked before the 2010 earthquake struck her native country of Haiti. From March 2008 – September 2009, she lived in Egypt, where her work appeared in various media outlets like the Associated Press, Voice of America, and the International Herald Tribune – Daily News Egypt. She graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism with a Master of Science degree in journalism, and has a bachelor’s degree in English and History from Wellesley College. Ms. Desvarieux currently resides in Washington, DC.
James O. Martin is a retired astronomer. He has been interested in Haiti since the 1970s and was introduced to Roots of Development in 2007. Mr. Martin has served as the Director of the Naval Observatory in Perrine, FL, the Project Manager for the Radio Astronomy Supercomputer, and has sat on church boards involved in local and world issues. He moved to Washington, D.C. in 1987, and helped expand the McClendon Center, a program to provide therapeutic day treatment to persons with mental illness, from a church mission serving forty people to an independent non-profit serving over 600 people at two locations. Mr. Martin has an A.B. from Cornell University and a M.A. from Indiana University.
Jacopo Namari is Director of Government Relations at IGT, a multinational gaming company that produces slot machines and other gaming technology. Mr. Namari represents the company before international, national, and state governmental and political organizations, and public officials. Before IGT, Mr. Namari spent a lot of his time working and volunteering in Africa. Mr. Namari has a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the Università degli Studi di Torino and a Master’s degree (in the same) from Università degli Studi di Milano. He was born in Torino, Italy, but currently resides in Washington D.C.
Bethany Natoli is Director of Community Engagement at Mightycause (formerly Razoo), an online fundraising platform for nonprofits and private citizens. Before that she served as Roots of Development’s Director of Outreach and Partnerships. Bethany has a Master’s degree in International Development Practice, Non-Profit Administration and Financial Management from the University of Denver. She currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia.
Magalie Pradel, a psychologist by training, was born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She moved to the Washington Metropolitan Area in October 1994, and joined the World Bank, where she developed her passion for sustainable development. Ms. Pradel is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Caribbean Association of the World Bank and IMF Staff (CAWI).
Chris Wells is Vice President of Public Affairs at the Personalized Medicine Coalition, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that works to advance a new approach to health care involving the use of diagnostic tests to confirm that a treatment will work for a particular patient before it is prescribed. Wells, a published expert in public affairs and nonprofit management, oversees the development of the Coalition’s marketing and communications messages and leverages a comprehensive portfolio of digital and traditional communications tools with an international reach. He also oversees content development for the Annual Personalized Medicine Conference at Harvard Medical School. Prior to joining PMC, Wells worked as a research assistant at Binghamton University, where he graduated with a master’s degree in public administration and received the University’s Department of Public Administration Alpha Student Award. He also holds a B.A. from the State University of New York at Brockport, where he was honored with Department Scholar’s Awards in both journalism and international studies.
CURRENT VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
Part-Time Financial Analyst
Position Details: We are recruiting an outstanding undergraduate/graduate student/or retiree with bookkeeping experience. We would also be open to a quick learner who knows or is willing to learn the program Quickbooks. We are in search for a volunteer with knowledge of basic bookkeeping and who would be willing to work with our Executive Director to produce quarterly reports. 5-10 hours per quarter would be the time commitment. This is an outstanding leadership opportunity in an innovative nonprofit organization, which works on projects in Haiti. Schedule flexible. Opportunity to work remotely.
Position Details: We are interested in a self-motivated, attentive volunteer to help with note taking during Board meetings. The time commitment would be only 5-6 hours four times a year. We are recruiting someone who has strong listening skills and can capture the essence of discussions and turnover minutes in a timely manner. Strong typing skills a must. This would be an excellent opportunity for someone looking to get more involved in the organization.
For more information and to apply to either position, contact Jessica Desvarieux at firstname.lastname@example.org
VOLUNTEER TASK FORCE
Ana Maria Saiz
FORMER STAFF & RECENT INTERNS
Nicole Anouk Leger, Program Director
Bethany Natoli, Director of Outreach & Partnerships
Brian Averill, Executive Assistant
Yee Chen, Engineer
Kate Hartman, Executive Assistant
Marie Nathalie Oberti