About Us

Collaboration, transparency, accountability, diversity, and environmental integrity.


Partners in Progress works with rural based organizations to strengthen local cultural, social, and environmental assets for building sustainable community.


Rural communities are places where people want to live and raise a family; where neighbors all have responsibility to ensure the health and well-being of people and the environment and to continuously imagine and shape a prosperous, hope-filled future.

Our History

Partners in Progress (“PIP”) is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt non-profit organization founded in 1999 by the Pittsburgh Haiti Solidarity Committee to promote sustainable rural development in Haiti.

Partners in Progress addresses the issue of limited opportunities and resources for self-determination and the dependency this creates on external development agendas and resources. The Haitian government provides almost no support for rural communities that would enable them to develop skills and resources for advancing their own development priorities. Agricultural extension, for example, has virtually ceased. Most rural development support comes from NGO or faith-based organizations, usually in the form of short trainings in technologies that are prioritized from outside. Though well meaning, this typically results in initiatives that are poorly suited to community needs.

PIP’s initial focus was to link community organizations, primarily in the region of Fondwa, with technical expertise and funding to support health care, education and economic development. We learned that this type of support was not having lasting impact or building the capabilities of communities to become self-sufficient. Decision-making about development priorities were made by a select few and therefore did not lead to growth and innovation. In order to promote more inclusive decision making and to address the capacity building needs of our partners in community organizing and project planning and management, PIP began working more as a collaborative partner in sustainable development initiatives.


Our core values and beliefs guide everything we do, large and small. We:

For PIP, sustainable community development is that which:

  • Takes an integrated approach to meeting basic needs that also works to address systemic challenges facing rural communities
  • Is inclusive and promotes equity and social justice
  • Improves the health of the environment (soil, plant and animal life, air, water) for future generations
  • Generates local wealth, while promoting equitable distribution of resources
  • Depends and builds on local knowledge, resources, and innovation to the greatest extent possible
  • Builds community capacity for self organizing, imagining, and developing the resources needed to realize a shared vision of the future
  • Fosters resiliency and self-reliance

What does sustainable community look like?

  • Believe in the inherent right of all peoples to clean air, water, land and other resources necessary to meet their basic needs and live with dignity;
  • Work to reclaim and revitalize the knowledge, values, and traditions of our ancestors that can lead to more sustainable outcomes;
  • Trust in the power of communities to create innovative solutions to the problems they face;
  • Believe that we should be “inclusive” in our work and that everyone has something to contribute and teach;
  • Consider the implications of our decisions on future generations; and
  • Recognize our inter-dependency with each other and the rest of creation.

Meet the Team

Passionate and dedicated to improving conditions for rural Haiti, our core team brings with them an enormous range of talent, with diverse backgrounds and skill sets to help make a lasting, positive impact. Additionally, we work with some of the best and brightest leaders in the sustainable development field. Meet the people who work as Partners in Progress staff and associates, serve on the Board of Directors, or otherwise represent some of our partners in progress.

Staff and Consultants


Elizabeth Harbist

Administrative Specialist
Mongesly Clervil

Mongesly Clervil

Program Advisor

Genel Gira

Construction Foreman, Haiti

Jim Hallock

SCEB Consultant

Josue Antenor Jean

Construction Design and Engineer, Haiti
Shannon Kearney

Shannon Kearney

Development and Outreach Coordinator
Michael Neumann

Michael Neumann

Executive Director

Catherine Twohig

Program and Evaluation Assistant

Claudy Vital

Agroecology Program Consultant

Board of Directors

Joseph Hoover



Financial Planner and Investment Advisor

Harriet Oyera

Vice President


Social Worker, Refugee Services, MN Council of Churches

Mary McIntyre



Served as Assistant to the President, The Assistant to the Provost, Retired Adjunct Professor, Duquesne University

John Newell



Senior Consultant, Highmark

Kefale Bogale

Pharmacist, PharmD, Walgreens

Board Members

Ruben Berrios

Economist, Lockhaven University

Pat Carew

President and Owner, Enerstar

Barbara Finch

Prison Ministry, Allegheny County Jail

John Kearney

Director of Marketing, Solve Advisors

Michael Kenstowicz

Associate, Jones Day Law Firm

Anne McCafferty

Adjunct Professor, Carlow University

Kathleen Mullaney

Director of Research, Dominican University

Joyce Rothermel

Former CEO, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

Interested in becoming a member of the team?

We look for individuals who exhibit leadership, vision and passion for work in Haiti to serve on our Board of Directors, or work as a partner. Experience in fundraising, community organizing, and international development are preferred. If you are interested in learning more about this service opportunity, please reach out to us.

Our work in rural Haiti is fueled by generous contributions from loyal donors like you. Please consider becoming a MONTHLY sponsor of Partners in Progress today.

All donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.