Dr. Rénald Clérismé was a very dear part of founding the Haiti Bible Training Center. He became a close friend of Pastor Brian McDaniel and was a huge blessing to everyone involved. We are extremely thankful to Dr. Clérismé for his support, encouragement, council and friendship. We are so very thankful that we are certain we will see him again in heaven. Below is the article written by Yale University in his memory:
Dr. Rénald Clérismé (’96, Ph.D., Yale Anthro) passes away
Rénald was born into a Haitian peasant family in the village of Chateau in 1937. He completed his B.A. in France in 1967 and an M.A. in anthropology from New York University in 1975. For many years he was a Roman Catholic priest, playing an important role in the struggles to forge peasant unions in the Haitian countryside during the Duvalier regime. He came to Yale in the 1990s with a Fulbright fellowship and completed a very powerful dissertation on Haitian migrant peasant workers in the Dominican Republic, co-supervised by Bill Kelly and Marc Edelman. He was an active participant in the Program on Agrarian Studies.
When he graduated from Yale, he hoped to return to his country and establish a strong program in sociocultural anthropology at the national university, but he was prevailed upon by his good friend and then-President of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, to postpone those aspirations and to contribute more directly to the democratization and development of the country. Rénald became one of the country’s most accomplished diplomats, serving as the Ambassador of Haiti to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Trade Center (ITC), the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). He represented Haiti at the General Assembly of the Complete Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) and served as president and co-president of various task forces of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Budget, Finances. He was delegate plenipotentiary to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna Austria. From 2006-2008, he was Chancellor for the Republic of Haiti, which includes the portfolios of Minister of Foreign Affairs and Religions.
Nonetheless, he remained committed to scholarship and was known for his expertise and research on Haitian culture and Haitian religions and on economic development and agriculture. Among his publications is Main-d’oeuvre haïtienne and capital dominicain (Haitian Labor and Dominican Capital, Paris, 2003). He most recently visited the Department in 2008 to deliver a lecture on the importance of anthropology for Haitian rural development.
He is survived by his wife, Linda Marc (’92 MPH, Yale). He will be sorely missed by family, friends, and colleagues, by organizations and movements in Haiti and beyond, and by the multitude of Haitians whose lives and livelihoods he was so committed to improving.
A memorial service is being planned in Haiti.
By Bill Kelly