Board of Directors
The SOIL Board of Directors gathered in Port-au-Prince for its first meeting in Haiti in March 2016.
Moira Duvernay Chairperson of the Board
Moira Duvernay is a human rights attorney whose love affair with Haiti started when she worked in Haiti as a teacher in 1998. Currently, she serves as Deputy Director of the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies based at UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, California. Moira is an experienced litigator in the areas of international human rights, civil rights, and other public law matters. She was named a “Rising Star” in California’s Super Lawyer magazine in 2013 and 2014 for her civil and criminal appellate work, including a death penalty appeal. Previously, Moira served as a staff attorney for the Center for Justice and Accountability in San Francisco. She litigated high-impact international human rights cases on behalf of survivors of torture or other severe human rights abuses, serving as counsel in legal victories against death squad leaders and former military officers from around the world. In March 2007, Moira was named an Attorney of the Year by California Magazine for her role in the securing a $19 million judgment against a Haitian death squad leader who was living in New York.
Melinda Miles Secretary
Melinda Miles is an expert on Haiti and social and economic rights who has spent the last fifteen years working with Haitian grassroots groups, civil society and international organizations on a wide sphere of issues including environment conservation and food security; human rights and gender-based violence; capacity building; economic justice; accountability and labor rights; and much more. Melinda has a history of bringing together diverse stakeholders around shared challenges and coalition building including the Let Haiti Live coalition in 2000-2004 and the Haiti Response Coalition only days after the January 2010 earthquake. As Program Director at TransAfrica in Washington, DC, Melinda maintains relationships with Members of Congress and policymakers and represents TransAfrica at events around the country and the world, including the African National Congress’s International Solidarity Conference in South Africa in 2012.
Bob McLaughlin Treasurer
Bob McLaughlin is a business and finance professional with over 40 years of experience in private accounting, tax planning, and business consulting. He runs a practice in Rockford, IL (albeit now as a semi-retired consultant to his son, who has taken over the practice). Prior to owning his own practice, he worked with the firm BDO Seidman from 1961 to 1980, and was named partner in 1973. Bob holds an MBA from the University of Detroit and he is a licensed CPA. He has also been actively involved in a number of charitable, community, and professional organizations, including serving as president of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul – St James Conference, volunteering in the Pastoral Care Department at one of the major hospitals in Rockford, as well as being active in his local parish. In addition to serving on the SOIL board, he is currently on the boards of Family Counseling Services of Northern Illinois and Hope for the Haitians. Bob is also involved with Carpenter’s Place (an agency working with the homeless in Rockford) and his local Kiwanis Club. He lives with his wife Mary Lou in Rockford, Illinois, although they travel often to visit their 5 children and 12 grandchildren.
Dr. Sasha Kramer Executive Director and Co-Founder
Dr. Sasha Kramer is an ecologist and human rights advocate who has been living and working in Haiti since 2004. She received her Ph.D. in Ecology from Stanford University in 2006 and co-founded SOIL that same year. While Dr. Kramer spends the majority of her time living and working in Haiti, she is also a global advocate for the recycling of nutrients in human waste, helping others implement sustainable sanitation projects and inspiring people around the world to participate in the sanitation revolution. Dr. Kramer has been recognized as a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, an Architect of the Future with the Waldzell Institute, a 2014 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year, an Ashoka Fellow, and a 2017 Sarphati Sanitation Prize Lifetime Achievement winner.
Nick Preneta Deputy Director
Nick has a Master’s in Public Health from Tufts University and has been working with SOIL since 2010, after first moving to Haiti in 2005. Nick was instrumental in coordinating SOIL’s emergency response after the 2010 earthquake and in opening the Port-au-Prince office. Nick currently oversees operations, manages Human Resources for both of SOIL’s offices, and is responsible for SOIL’s consultancy services.
Clare is currently the Operations Manager for EY’s Ripples Projects, extending EY’s professional services to impact investors and entrepreneurs making it their business to tackle the causes and symptoms of inequality, at heavily discounted rates. In addition to managing all operational aspects of the program, she is also responsible for the successful delivery of consulting engagements with a range of water and sanitation businesses. It is through this program that Clare first crossed paths with SOIL and has remained closely connected both with the mission and the team ever since. Clare is a chartered accountant by trade and has over 6 years of professional services experience having previously worked in EY’s Business Tax Services serving a broad range of domestic and multinational clients on UK corporate and international tax matters in an advisory and compliance capacity.
Ingrid Henrys is a Haitian who obtained a master’s degree in agro-development engineering in France. She fell in love with EcoSan while writing her final report on the link between EcoSan and urban agriculture in Burkina Faso. After returning to Haiti, she served as the head of sanitation from 2008 to 2011 at the National Direction for Drinking Water and Sanitation. In 2011 she helped translate SOIL’s first edition of its EcoSan guide. Since then, Ingrid has worked more widely in the environment field and is now focusing more on environment protection and permaculture.
Dr. Jessica Covell
Jessica recently completed her PhD at the University of Miami with a focus on Haitian non-profits. Her academic background focused on international politics and her professional experience is with small, growing organizations in need of operational support. She is working on the practical side of non-profit management through her work with Project Medishare and SOIL. In addition, she works directly with other non-profits as part of the larger academic community at the entrepreneurial center on the UM campus. She speaks Spanish and is in the process of learning Haitian Creole.
Catherine Ellenbogen is a retired partner and Senior Vice President of CMD Realty Investment Company headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and she has extensive professional experience in corporate real estate development, public relations, advertising, and marketing. In addition to serving on the SOIL board, Cathy has served on the Alumni Board of Dominican University, the Board of Hephzibah Children’s Association, and the Capital Campaign Advisory Committee of Parenthesis. She is also Co-Founder and Co-Director, along with her husband Steve Ellenbogen, of the Ellenbogen Charitable Trust. Since 2011, Cathy has become increasingly involved in supporting Haiti’s economic development, both with Youth C.A.R.E.S. (which provides educational programs for youth in the Cabaret area of Port-au-Prince) and with SOIL.
Nathalie Marc-Charles is an experienced HR leader and a professional in the organizational psychology and development field. Nathalie is highly proficient in developing and implementing innovative recruitment and retention strategies, implementing employee work-life balance programs and developing employee policies and procedures. Nathalie also has extensive experience managing employee relations, developing competency frameworks, performance management
David Reese is language arts department chair at Miami Beach Senior High. Seeking meaningful curriculum, David engages student participation in service learning projects, community action initiatives, and essential questions of human rights through the study of literature and expository argument. He believes that advocating for SOIL has opened a window for democratic minded young people to act locally to affect change globally.