Laurent Salvador Lamothe (born 14 August 1972) is a Haitian businessman, economist, and political figure who has served in the government of Haiti as Minister of Foreign Affairs since October 2011, then appointed as Prime Minister on 4 May 2012. On 14 December 2014, Lamothe resigned as Prime Minister for personal reasons. Previously, he was co-founder and CEO of the company .
Life and career
Son of Louis G. Lamothe (D.Litt. in Spanish Language and Literature), the founder of the , and of Ghislaine Fortuney Lamothe, a painter, Lamothe was born in Port-au-Prince. He grew up in an academic and artistic, but also athletic, environment. His elder brother, Ruben, served as captain of the Haitian Davis Cup tennis team for some time. A tennis player himself, Laurent Lamothe represented his country at the Davis Cup in 1994 and 1995.
At age 19, Lamothe left Haiti to complete his tertiary studies in Florida. After obtaining a bachelor's degree in political sciences at Barry University in Miami, in 1996 he enrolled in Saint Thomas University in Miami Gardens, Florida, where he earned a master's degree in business management. He was said to be a "keen, analytical and articulate student, a gentleman and a people person".
Two years after obtaining his master's degree in business management, he founded the telecommunications company Global Voice Group with his business partner, Patrice Baker. The company started out as a small telecommunications company and is today a worldwide provider of technological solutions in emerging markets and developing countries. Through his company, Global Voice Group, he introduced telecoms governance technologies in Africa which allow regulation agencies to manage the sector in terms of control, tariff equity and transparency. This earned him a nomination as Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” in May 2008.
In July 2015, Lamothe founded and created LSL World Initiative (LSLWI), a global enterprise that provides solutions for governments of emerging countries to overcome debt and achieve sustainable development. Revenue generated through innovative financing strategies can be used to fund vital health and educational programs, and encourage economic self-sufficiency in emerging markets.
His involvement in the political and social life of Haiti subsequently led him to accept the position of Special Advisor to Haitian President Michel Martelly. In order to achieve more and to avoid conflicts of interest, Laurent Lamothe resigned from his businesses and considers himself as a former businessman. He also became a member of the Interim Commission for the Reconstruction of Haiti (CIRH).
In September 2011, Lamothe and former United States President Bill Clinton co-chaired the Presidential Advisory Council for the Economic Development and Investment in Haiti launched by President Martelly on 8 September 2011 to help redevelop Haiti by making it more attractive to foreign companies and investors.
Subsequently, Lamothe was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Haiti. On 26 October 2011, he made his first speech as the new Minister of Foreign Affairs during his installation ceremony, which took place in Bois-Verna, Haiti. He is viewed as "competent and dynamic minister" and a "talented entrepreneur with the vision to move Haiti forward"
On 1 March 2012, Lamothe was designated as the Prime Minister of Haiti by President Martelly following the resignation of Prime Minister Garry Conille. He successfully served as Prime Minister from March 2012 to December 2014, the longest tenure of any Prime Minister in the last three decades. During his time in office, Lamothe presided over the design and implementation of an important social policy agenda that targeted the poorest sectors of the Haitian population. Lamothe also presided over the largest infrastructure development in recent history, which included the construction and rehabilitation of schools, public buildings, bridges and roads.
During Lamothe’s tenure as Prime Minister, foreign direct investment increased to the highest level since the fall of the Duvalier dictatorship in the mid 1980s. Under his leadership, the government pursued reforms that made Haiti a safer and more business-friendly country with the implementation of a 15-year tax break to companies investing in the island nation.
He also pushed for an increase of the police force by 30 percent. He fought to improve the living conditions of the poorest in Haiti. He implemented social programs that benefited the most vulnerable, he spearheaded the free education program, and promoted good governance by tackling corruption.
He had an impact in the fight against extreme poverty – According to a 2014 World Bank study, from 2012 to 2014, the number of people in extreme poverty in Haiti dropped from 31% to 24% thanks to the social program EDE PEP, which benefited 2 million people.
Lamothe implemented programs to fight corruption, and improved conditions to facilitate Foreign Direct Investments (FDI). From 2011 t0 2013, FDI increased by 56% compared to the 2006-2010 period. Along with that, through the GOH’s free education program, elementary school attendance rate rose from 55 to 90%. Close to 1.4 million children between the ages of 6 and 12 now attend school at no charge. He initiated reform policies in the security sector such as supporting the effective coordination of law enforcement agencies and increasing women presence in the police force.
In 2010, Lamothe was largely responsible for the reconstruction of the country after the devastating earthquake. He was instrumental in relocating approximately 1.6 million people from the resulting tent camps, as well as in removing 97% of the rubble that the earthquake caused. Four years after the earthquake, kidnappings had decreased by 55 per cent; public investments had increased by 8 per cent; and there were almost 200 projects dedicated to rebuilding of the community. In 2016, Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti. After the hurricane, Lamothe helped rebuild communities in Haiti through the Dr. Louis G. Lamothe Foundation, which he started in memory of his late father. Lamothe is working to improve fishing and agriculture in Anse du Clerc so as to help the citizens make sustainable incomes. He has rebuilt a school in Nan Panyol, and is working on many more projects with the Foundation.
On 7 November 2014, Laurent Lamothe, received in Miami, the Innovative Leader of the Year Award, «Bravo Awards» established by the Latin Trade Group, to underline the initiatives and actions of the leaders of the region to develop their country.
Having grown up in a country affected by poverty and lack of resources at all levels, he developed throughout his life a deep sense of social responsibility and a strong tendency to assist those in need. Lamothe is a pragmatist who, during his time in office, emphasized practical solutions over partisan politics to address the urgent needs of Haiti.
On 14 December 2014, Lamothe resigned his position as Prime Minister.
“My Government’s top priority was to serve these vulnerable citizens who had always been forgotten by traditional politicians and the political class.”—Laurent Lamothe, January 2015.
Lamothe obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Barry University in Miami and in 1996 earned his MBA with Honors from University of St. Thomas. In 1998, Lamothe founded Global Voice Group SA (GVG) considered today a world-leader in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) solutions for telecoms and fiscal authorities. He served as CEO of GVG until he stepped down to assume his public sector duties with the Government of Haiti. GVG earned the 2014 Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Award for its outstanding innovation in the domain of IT solutions designed for governments and regulatory authorities.
Lamothe was named as the Ernst & Young’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” title in May 2008. Lamothe brought to the office of Prime Minister an entrepreneurial spirit and dynamism that earned him recognition in November 2014, from the Latin Trade magazine for his innovative skills, naming him the year’s Innovative Leader of the Americas. Latin Trade noted that Lamothe “helped establish a paradigm shift for Haiti as a destination for investment, rather than simply for humanitarian aid”. Lamothe also received the National Alliance for the Advancement of Haitian Professionals (NAAHP) Golden Honors Award for his outstanding work, integrity and commitment to Haiti and its Diaspora in 2015, as well as the Social Media Person of the Year award in 2015 by the Social Media Association of Haiti.
In July 2015, Lamothe created , a private enterprise providing solutions to governments in implementing their own funding mechanisms to help them deliver sustainable development programs in line with their needs and priorities.
In December 2015, Lamothe founded the Dr. Louis G Lamothe Foundation (LGLF) in honour and memory of his father Louis G Lamothe. The Foundation will concentrate on the strategies to lead Haiti to emerging country status by 2041. With his lead, after Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti, the Dr. Louis G. Lamothe Foundation has been working in Anse du Clerc to help the town recover from the damages. The Foundation aims to rehabilitate the fishing village and revive its economic activity by repairing the damaged houses and facilitating the acquisition of fishing equipment, among others. The Foundation also aims to make various seeds for agriculture available to the farmers.
In March 2016, Lamothe was inducted to the Sunshine State Conference Hall of Fame 2016. Laurent Lamothe received the ABiCC Award for Leadership in Global Trade 2016 from the forty Bi-National Chambers of Commerce in Florida in November 2016, for his outstanding work as an entrepreneur, assisting the governments of developing countries in the regulation and globalization of their telecommunications and IT sectors, which helped improve these countries’ competitiveness and economic sustainability. In December 2016, Lamothe was awarded the 9 the MEDays Grand Prize of Solidarity with the Haitian people, for his work with the Dr. Louis G. Lamothe Foundation in Haiti.
In 2017, Lamothe was a guest of honor at the Transform Africa Summit, and shared his vision about the "Internet of Value: Blockchain and the Internet of Things”. At the 2018 World Economic Forum in Davos, Lamothe also spoke about Blockchain and how the technology can enhance government continuity and resilience. Lamothe has been invited to participate as a speaker in the Berlin Economic Forum to be held in the German capital on March 6–11, 2018.
In 2019 Lamothe participated as a panelist at Angotic Angola's most recognized innovation forum. He also joined the United Nations Climate Action Summit as a guest speaker at the Smart Climate Day event hosted by the Monaco Better World Forum. Lamothe was inducted into the ‘Power Brand LIFE: Hall of Fame 2019’, for his outstanding achievements in the struggle for equality and human rights in Haiti through his work with his Foundation.
He is the father of two daughters, Lara and Linka.
He announced his resignation as prime minister of Haiti on www.radiocaciquedhaiti.com in mid-December 2014.
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|| Minister of Foreign Affairs
| Prime Minister of Haiti
Florence Duperval Guillaume