Haitian prime minister honored by two South Florida universities

11/08/2012 4:02 PM

11/08/2012 7:06 PM

Haiti Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe will be a featured guest as two of South Florida Catholic universities recognize him in the coming days.

Barry University will award Lamothe — along with two other graduates — with its Distinguished Alumni Award at a 6 p.m. dinner Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 in Fort Lauderdale.

Lamothe is a 1996 graduate of the Miami Shores university, where he majored in political science.

“I am very proud to receive this prestigious award from my alma mater,” Lamothe told The Miami Herald. “Barry shaped the person I am today and I am very grateful.”

The others are Dr. Luis Marin, a Miami podiatric physician, and Mimi Watson Sutherland, director of the GATE program at Jackson Medical Center.

Barry said its Distinguished Alumni Awards “honor alumni who exemplify the intent of Barry’s mission, including teachers, coaches, business leaders, and others who have distinguished themselves through significant achievement.”

Lamothe also is a 1998 graduate of St. Thomas University, where he earned a master’s of business administration. On Nov. 16, he will be a guest of honor as the school concludes Global Entrepreneurship Week with a session on “Unleashing Entrepreneurship in Haiti.”

Lamothe, 40, was tapped by Haitian President Michel Martelly to head the country’s government earlier this year.

In addition to helping guide the country through its slow moving reconstruction almost three years after the devastating January 2010 earthquake, he has been faced with discontent over rising prices and a political crisis over the installation of a permanent electoral council to oversee elections. Most recently the country was hit with more disaster when Hurricane Sandy’s relentless rains left at least 54 Haitians dead, 20 missing and $104 million worth of damage to Haiti’s agriculture. The United Nations has said up to 2 million Haitians face malnutrition as a result of Sandy. Lamothe has appealed for international assistance.

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