Johanna Leblanc, J.D., LL.M., M.S., Hon. LL.D.
National Security Law and Foreign Policy Expert
Ms. Johanna Leblanc is a Haitian- American national security law and foreign policy expert. She holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) from Indiana University- Robert H. McKinney School of Law, where she focused on international law, a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in National Security and U.S. Foreign Relations Law from The George Washington University School of Law in Washington, D.C. She also holds a Master of Science in Public Administration from Florida A&M University (FAMU) and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Bethune- Cookman University (BCU).
Ms. Leblanc serves as the Senior Advisor to both Haiti’s Ambassador to the United States and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Her portfolio includes, but not limited to, promoting the interests of the state before the United States Congress, White House, and other institutions, and advising the government on intergovernmental relations, immigration, national security, and trade. Ms. Leblanc successfully lobbied for the ten-year renewal of the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA), a trade bill that generates over $1billion dollars in annual revenue in Haiti and creates over fifty thousand jobs in the textile industry. In addition, she lobbied for Haiti’s Ambassador to testify before Congress for the very time since Haiti and U.S. established diplomatic relations in 1862.
In 2017, Ms. Leblanc was appointed to the Commission of African Affairs as a Commissioner by D.C. Mayor Bowser. She was subsequently appointed to as the vice-chair of the commission. She advised the administration on how to address issues impacting the African Diaspora through public policy and testified at hearings. Ms. Leblanc currently serves as an Executive Board member of The African Diaspora Development Institute (The ADDI), where she was appointed by the Former African Union Ambassador to the United States.
In the past, Ms. Leblanc has advocated for better environmental policies, raised awareness to housing issues impacting immigrants, worked on women’s rights issues both internationally and locally, and served on various boards. She has worked in Southeast-Asia, Southern, and Western Africa on access to legal justice, child marriage issues, and electoral reforms. Ms. Leblanc has served as a member of the Military Observation Commission Project (MOCP), where by the approval of the Pentagon, she traveled to (a) attend; (b) observe; (c) analyze; (d) critique; and (e) report on military commission war crimes hearings at Guantanamo Bay.
Ms. Leblanc is a National Security and Foreign Affairs Legal Analyst, where she regularly provides commentary through the national and international press on domestic and foreign policy-related matters. She has appeared on FOX 5 DC, Voice of America (VOA), Roland Martin Unfiltered, Channels TV in Nigeria, Citizen TV in Kenya, Press TV in Iran, NBS Uganda, and various other networks. Ms. Leblanc is also an international speaker who is passionate about women’s empowerment.
Due to her work in the U.S. and abroad, she has earned numerous awards. In 2016, Faculty and Staff at Indiana University presented Ms. Leblanc with the Woman Student Leader of the Year Award. In 2018, the Association of Haitian Professionals (AHP) in Washington, DC, presented Ms. Leblanc with the Lifetime Trailblazer Award for Driving Change and Innovation. she was named this year’s Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD), Under 40, Global 100 Awards during the U.N. General Assembly. Furthermore, in 2019, Ms. Leblanc delivered the commencement speech at her alma mater, BCU, and was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by the President and the Board of Trustees. In 2020, she was presented with the HBCU Global Impact Award by HBCU Africa Homecoming.