Founder and Board President of the Progress through Development through Education Foundation (PRODEV)
Maryse Pénette-Kedar was born on August 12, 1953, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She began her diplomatic career at the Embassy of Haiti in Washington, D.C. in 1982 as a commercial attaché, and in 1983 she was appointed as special advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Two years later, she became Chargé d’Affaires at the Haitian Embassy in Belgium. It is in this capacity that Mrs Pénette -Kedar made history when she negotiated and secured Haiti’s entry into the Lomé Convention, an important economic cooperation agreement signed with the European Union in 1988. In 1990, she was appointed Ambassador of Haiti to the Benelux Union (Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands) in Brussels. Subsequent to her career in Haiti’s Foreign Service, Pénette-Kedar returned to the private sector.
She was asked to serve once again, this time with an appointment as the Secretary of State for Tourism in 1995. In that capacity Penette-Kedar continued to blaze new trails by implementing Haiti’s first Tourism Master Plan, which included a critically needed inventory of Haiti’s natural assets, from pristine beaches to long forgotten historic landmarks. By the year 2000, Pénette-Kedar was working with Royal Caribbean International, serving as a special consultant and as the president of Société Labadie Nord (SOLANO), a Haiti registered corporation’s responsible for the management of Royal Caribbean’s cruise port in Labadie.
Throughout her career, Pénette-Kedar has worked to strengthen Haiti’s economic, social and political infrastructure. From 2005 to 2007, she chaired the Association of Industries of Haiti whose goals are to promote and develop Haiti’s industrial sector. Pénette-Kedar is also active in several non-governmental organizations. She is a founding member of the Fondation Haitienne de Maladies Endémiques (GHESKIO), a local not-for-profit organization, which has through its service and research activities, emerged as a national and international leader in the fight against diarrhoeal and mycobacterial diseases as well as AIDS and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Today, Pénette-Kedar, is ever more engaged in what she calls “the battle for Haiti’s future”. As the Founder and Board President of the Progress through Development through Education Foundation (PRODEV), where she oversees the local foundation ‘s efforts to manage three schools in different parts of the country and offer over 1000 students, access to quality education. Pénette-Kedar is also co-chairs CLE, the Haitian Center for Leadership and Excellence.
Pénette-Kedar’s civic mindedness has been recognized throughout the years, most notably with the Grand Croix, the highest honor and recognition bestowed by the Government of Haiti, for her accomplishments.