MIT Sloan Executive Education, in partnership with the government of Haiti, has created a new educational initiative to provide management and leadership training to members of the Haitian cabinet for the first time. Haitian ministers and senior officials are invited to participate in executive education courses offered by the MIT School of Management, learning concepts and tools that can be applied to real-world challenges facing their ministries, such as poverty-alleviation, economic regeneration, and rebuilding Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

To kick off the initiative, MIT Sloan Executive Education hosted three members of the cabinet of Haiti’s Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe in November 2013 as part of the MIT-Haiti Initiative, a collaborative project to help modernize and democratize education in Haiti. These officials attended a two-day intensive course called “Transforming Your Leadership Strategy,” which emphasizes the importance of both personal and distributed leadership for achieving results in today’s fast-moving world. The group also met with faculty and staff from MIT and members of the Haitian community in the Boston area.

“As a former entrepreneur and businessman, I recognized our need to apply proven business leadership practices to improve on performance and better the lives of Haitian citizens. Our partnership with MIT Sloan Executive Education within the broader MIT-Haiti Initiative exemplifies our commitment to quality education at every level,” said Lamothe. “We must develop the skills and capabilities to lift ourselves above our past misfortunes. The spirit of entrepreneurship, the transformative power of knowledge and learning, and the real-world application of cutting-edge science, technology and innovation that are such hallmarks of a world-class institution such as MIT will help the people of Haiti to look ahead, to imagine, to believe, and to realize our own full potential.”

“This engagement with the MIT-Haiti Initiative is entirely consistent with the overall mission of MIT Sloan School of Management and MIT Sloan Executive Education to develop principled leaders who make a positive impact in the world, through thoughtful, rigorous and relevant leadership and management education,” said Peter Hirst, MBE, executive director of Executive Education, at MIT Sloan. “We are committed to providing the best, most relevant and most applicable management education to leaders in the world’s leading organizations. Extending this offer to cabinet members of the government of Haiti was an important first step in what we hope will grow into a broader set of MIT Sloan management and leadership education opportunities for Haitian leaders from the public, private and non-profit sectors.”

The MIT-Haiti Initiative is the latest among several examples of MIT Sloan Executive Education programs to go beyond the typical business school offerings that often focus solely on commerce and profit. For instance, MIT’s Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (“REAP”) engages multi-sector teams from around the globe to create and execute regional development strategies that deliver economic growth and job creation, driven by innovation-based enterprises. MIT Sloan’s Innovative Dynamic Education and Action for Sustainability (“IDEAS”) program is designed to help participants from diverse backgrounds put aside their differences and learn to address root problems, working together toward a common goal of building a better future. One IDEAS pilot project helped reduce corruption in a region of Indonesia, another pilot led to the reorganization of an Indonesian national bank to offer financial services to the underserved. The IDEAS model has been replicated in Indonesia, China and in the future could help in addressing the complex multi-sectorial challenges faced by the people of Haiti.

“Our partnership with the MIT-Haiti Initiative, REAP, and the IDEAS program are all examples of MIT Sloan Executive Education programs with societal benefits,” said Hirst. “They fit with our long tradition of educating leaders who can improve the performance of their organization and see beyond their own self-interests to the greater good. We’re very proud of these programs and proud of the leaders they develop.”

About the MIT-Haiti Initiative

The need for the MIT-Haiti Initiative was first identified by Professor Michel DeGraff, MIT professor of linguistics, who leads the initiative jointly with Dr. Vijay Kumar, director of MIT’s Office for Educational Innovation and Technology. DeGraff is a linguist whose scholarly interests concern the development and structures of Creole languages, especially his native Kreyòl, and the use of these languages in research and education. He notes that quality education in Haiti has in the past been available only to very few due to infrastructural and linguistic reasons.

“With the MIT-Haiti Initiative, our goal is to provide high-quality digital technologies and open educational resources that use Kreyòl as an indispensable tool for active learning and that can be made accessible to the greatest numbers of faculty and students,” said Professor DeGraff. “At MIT, we are actively engaged with Prime Minister Lamothe, Haiti’s Ministry of Education and public and private universities in alleviating poverty through technology-enabled and open access to high-caliber education. Now our Haitian partners can enlist innovative leadership strategies in our campaign against poverty in Haiti. This is part of our best practices for the reconstruction of Haiti and an opportunity to do good in the world.”

About MIT Sloan Executive Education

MIT Sloan Executive Education programs are designed for senior executives and high-potential managers from around the world. From intensive two-day executive courses focused on a particular area of interest, to executive certificates covering a range of management topics, to custom engagements addressing the specific business challenges of a particular organization, our portfolio of non-degree, executive education and management programs provides business professionals with a targeted and flexible means to advance their career development goals and position their organizations for future growth.


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