“So I ended up in Haiti with no preparation, no language preparation, and yes, I mean it’s a very oral culture, and it’s one that is built off of idiom, and it’s built off of saying things in the right spirit, seems to be a higher value than saying things grammatically structured.”
I had the opportunity to talk with Patrick Moynihan in Episode 26 and discuss the success story of his educational foundation in Haiti. One of Patrick’s objectives, as discussed on our episode, is to engage with the Haitian people to provide superior educational opportunities for young men and women. The Haitian Project is Patrick’s exciting brainchild and today he sits on the board of the Moynihan Philanthropic Advisors to share resources for effective philanthropy.
Patrick Moynihan’s Bio
Philanthropy / Nonprofit Institutional Development Advisor and President Emeritus, The Haitian Project
Deacon Patrick Moynihan is a transformational leader in the nonprofit space with experience as an educator, community builder, prolific fundraiser and change-maker who spent the past 25 years successfully reviving and then expanding an educational institution in Haiti.
As President of The Haitian Project, which manages and funds the Louverture Cleary School (LCS) in Haiti, Patrick grew the parent organization from a $150,000 regional US non-profit into a $2,000,000 nationally supported organization. When he took over the leadership of the organization it was $50,000 in debt and in 2019 he transitioned it to new leadership with over $3.6 million in endowments and operating reserves. He did this by strengthening the governance of the organization and recruiting a professional staff to carry out the mission.
During Patrick’s tenure at the Haitian Project, he transformed the school with his vision, eye for talent, and true grit. He increased the number of students from 65 to 360 and increased the ratio of female to male students from 15% to 53%. The school is nationally recognized for having one of the highest pass rates on the annual baccalaureate exams. Today, LCS alumni earn 15x more than the per capita income of Haiti.
Despite frequent political unrest, a horrific earthquake and a global economic crisis, Patrick constantly pushed the project, the school and local community forward while also helping other local institutions to recover, solidifying a role as an educational and nonprofit leader in the country.
Drawing on his earlier experience as a successful commodities trader for the Louis Dreyfus Corporation, Patrick also supported the establishment of a non-profit entrepreneurship program (Economic Growth Initiative for Haiti, or EGI) that has produced a number of successful formal sector businesses in Haiti. He is also one of the founding partners of ECentral, a top solar energy company in Haiti.
As President Emeritus of The Haitian Project, Patrick currently advises the President of The Haitian Project and its board of directors. His focus is the completion of a plan he developed to build and fund nine additional schools—one for each region Haiti’s ten regions.
Patrick has seen the best and the worst in the global philanthropy and he launched Moynihan Philanthropic Advisors (MPA) in 2020 to share his knowledge and help funders gain the confidence to invest their philanthropic dollars more quickly and accurately, increasing its impact. His new mission is to make philanthropy around the world bolder, faster and more effective.
Patrick has received several awards, including an Honorary Doctorate in Humanitarian Service from Providence College, the Pierre Toussaint Medallion from the Archdiocese of New York for advancing the cause of educational opportunity, social justice and the Gospel, and Brown University’s John Hope Award for Public Service. Patrick graduated magna cum laude from Brown University and earned a Master of Arts Degree with distinction in Religious Studies from Providence College. He was ordained a permanent deacon for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockford (IL) in 2001.
Website for The Haitian Project
To learn more about previous guests on It’s About Language or access other episodes of the podcast, visit It’s About Language or click on the Podcast tab above.