Claudette Werleigh

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Claudette Werleigh
7th Prime Minister of Haiti
In office
November 7, 1995 – February 27, 1996
President Jean-Bertrand Aristide
Preceded by Smarck Michel
Succeeded by Rosny Smarth
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship
In office
November 8, 1994 – November 7, 1995
President Jean-Bertrand Aristide
Preceded by Charles Anthony David
Succeeded by Fritz Longchamp
In office
September 1, 1993 – May 16, 1994
President Jean-Bertrand Aristide
Preceded by François Benoit
Succeeded by Charles Anthony David
Minister of Social Affairs
In office
March 16, 1990 – August 24, 1990
President Ertha Pascal-Trouillot
Preceded by Camille D. Sylaire
Succeeded by Carlo Désinor
Personal details
Born Claudette Antoine
(1946-09-26) September 26, 1946 (age 67)
Cap-Haïtien, Haiti
Spouse(s) Georges Werleigh
Religion Roman Catholicism

Claudette Werleigh (born 1946) was Prime Minister of Haïti from November 7, 1995 to February 7, 1996. She was Haiti's first female Prime Minister.

She had previously been Minister of Foreign Affairs and of Religion in 1993 and 1995. Before that, she was the executive director of the Haïtian embassy in Washington, D.C.

Until September 2007, she worked at the Life & Peace Institute in Uppsala, Sweden, which undertakes research into conflict resolution and reconciliation. Werleigh is the new Secretary General of Pax Christi International.


Claudette was born in 1946, in Cap-Haïtien in a well-to-do family.[1] She trained and studied medicine in the United States and Switzerland before returning to Haiti to get her degree in law and economics at the state university in Port-au-Prince.[2] She then moved on to work in a number of non governmental organizations in the fields of adult literacy and humanitarian relief.[2] In 1976 to 1987 she was secretary general of Caritas Haiti, which is an organization founded in 1975 by Haitian bishops conference.[2]

She helped found the women's league for women's empowerment, which was an organization promoting women to participate in politics.[3] Growing up she never had to worry about money, but watching the other peasants work to sell coffee made her want to help her people.[2] Her life's work has been bridging the gulf separating different worlds, the poor and the affluent, women and power structures.[3]

Years of teaching and lobbying experience have made her a confident public speaker, and building on her excellent ways of communication.[4] She is also bilingual in French and Creole.[4] Creole is her fluent language and is also fluent in English and Spanish and has a good understanding of Portuguese.[4] She is inspired by Christian values and spirituality, and has a good understanding of people with other beliefs.[4] Claudette is accustomed to working with an international staff with diverse backgrounds[4]

Political career[edit]

From 1990 onwards Werleigh became active in public administration and politics in Haiti.[4] From July 1992 to October 1993, she was the executive director of the Washington office on Haiti, and advocacy and lobbying organization.[2] In September 1993 she was appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the malval government-in-exile.[2] She then served as Prime Minister in 1995 and 1996.[4]

Since 1999 she has been the conflict transformation program’s director of the life and peace institute in Uppsala, Sweden.[4] Claudette's work has taken her all over Latin America and several other countries in Asia, Africa, and to most countries in western Europe.[4] She traveled to areas with a lot of conflict, to go and help them with their problems.[4] In 2007 she was elected secretary general of Pax Christi international, which is a non governmental catholic peace movement working on a global scale on a wide variety of issues in the fields of human rights, security and disbarment, economic justice and ecology.[2] Prior to this she was vice president and a member of the executive committee of Pax international, from 1992 to 2001.[4]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Famous Haitians. 20 April 2008
  3. ^ a b Women's perspective on money and spirituality. May 2005. 20 April 2008
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Pax Christi. 18 November 2006. 20 April 2008

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Smarck Michel
Prime Minister of Haiti
Succeeded by
Rosny Smarth