Early this week Peter Beinart, the Daily Beast’s senior political writer buzzed Develop Haiti on the Beast’s “Smart People Recommend” board. Beinart made his name as the wunderkind former editor of The New Republic and considering he’s not yet 40 his other credentials make you wonder what you’ve been doing all your life. To me though, he’s just my prof at CUNY’s J-School and one of the best (read: most encouraging and refreshingly-without-ego) editors I’ve ever had. Beinart’s new book, which sounds like a caution to President Obama to rein in U.S. foreign policy, will be on my reading list when it comes out in June.
Speaking of June, I’ll be in Haiti then (and waiting to hear whether DH got the grant). I’ll be reporting, writing and drinking Barbancourt for most of the summer so holler if you’ll be there, too. Teach me to speak more Kreyol than “Nap Boule.”
And I’ve saved the best news for last.
In a week or so DH will have a researcher. She’ll help build out DH’s Facts and Glossary pages, a what’s what and who’s who in Haiti’s reconstruction, informed by this and this. For example, one key figure will be Josef Leitmann who ran the World Bank’s Asian tsunami fund but who’ll now “manage” and “oversee” the $9.9 billion donated to Haiti during March’s donor conference. (I use quotation marks not to be a smart-mouth but because those verbs are vague; Leitmann could either be “the man” or a glorified administrative assistant). Keep an eye out for DH’s addition on the new About Us page.