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Syvlie Volel

Sylvie is the newest member of the FPDI Board, joining us March,2015. Sylvie firmly believes that poverty is no human being’s “fate”. Every human being, regardless of circumstance, has tremendous potential and deserves a peaceful and prosperous life. “We must empower those in poverty with the life skills and sustainable tools (education, training, sustainable agriculture, sustainable jobs and industries) they need so that they can stand on their own two feet, believe in themselves, and take control of their destiny.”

Sylvie was born in New York City to two Haitian-born parents. At the age of 10, following the fall of Baby Doc Duvalier’s regime, she and her family moved to Haiti to allow her father to pursue a campaign for the presidency of Haiti. She has fond childhood memories of being on the presidential campaign trail with her father, traveling joyfully in a canvas-top Suzuki jeep. Her father, unfortunately, would never have the opportunity to be on the ballot. On the morning of October 13th 1987, Sylvie’s father, Yves Volel, stood in front of Haitian police headquarters to pursue the release of a political prisoner. There, surrounded by local and foreign press, he was assassinated in broad daylight by Haitian police in civilian clothing.

Following her father’s death, she returned to the USA, but has never stopped continuing to pursue her father’s dream of bringing peace and justice to Haiti. Sylvie has been actively involved in volunteerism, community service and working with the poor, particularly women and children, since age ten – through literacy programs, art programs, college access programs for low income children, tutoring, mentoring, homeless outreach, and social justice programs. Sylvie’s educational, professional and philanthropic experience is boundless.

Today, Sylvie resides in Washington D.C. with her husband Brian Kenner. After over ten years in government leadership roles and in the management consulting industry, Sylvie founded The Volel Consulting Group in 2011 to deliver excellence in strategy, analytics and management consulting services to private, public and nonprofit sector clients. Sylvie returns to Haiti at least once per year and remains very close to her many relatives and childhood friends who reside there. She enthusiastically supports a number of philanthropic organizations dedicated to the advancement, sustained development, health, and long-term well-being of Haitian women and children living in poverty in Haiti. Sylvie is currently also an active board member of the Haitian American Community Organization (HACO).