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Haitian-American appointed Cultural Officer for U.S. Embassy

Régine René is the newly appointed Cultural Affairs Officer for U.S. Embassy Port-au-Prince. Ms. René is a Foreign Service Officer who officially joined the Department of State in September of 2008. She first began working with the Department as an intern at U.S. Embassy Santo Domingo, and was soon awarded the Thomas Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship in 2006. Since then, Ms. René has worked at the U.S. Embassy Kingston, at the U.S. General Consulate Casablanca, in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, and in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Ms. René also assisted U.S. Embassy Port-au-Prince to evacuate American citizens and their family in Haiti after the January 12, 2010 earthquake.

Pictures by Le Nouvelliste

Ms. René was raised in New Orleans, Louisiana by Haitian parents. She earned a B.B.A. in International Business and Latin American Studies from Loyola University, New Orleans, and M.A. in International Communications from American University. She completed short-term studies programs at universities in Mexico, Brazil, Canada, and France. Ms. René is fluent in French, Spanish, and Haitian Creole.

As a second generation Haitian immigrant born and raised in the U.S., Régine René's heart belongs to both countries. Her research grant will allow her to conduct research on second generation Haitian immigrants residing in the U.S. and their connection with Haiti. "I wanted to increase my knowledge about where people stand when their identity includes multiple cultures," said Régine.

Her project is called "Second Generation Haitian Immigrants in North America: Is there a connection strong enough to empower socio-economic development in Haiti?" Régine will analyze how this generation identifies itself in reference to Haiti and the social factors that motivate them to participate in Haiti's development. Her principal question: After over 40 years in America, is the Haitian Diaspora interested, willing, and able to give back to their homeland?

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