Director of Haiti Initiatives
Kate Schuenke-Lucien is the Director for Haiti Initiatives at the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education. Since 2012, she and her team have implemented education programs focused on primary and secondary teacher training, strengthening local school governance structures, and building capacity for local educational organizations. Kate directed a mother-tongue early grade reading program, Read to Learn, in two Haitian dioceses from 2014 to 2016 that showed dramatic improvements in reading skills for participating students. The strong results of Read to Learn led to an investment of over $13.5 million by public and private donors in a suite of early-grade literacy and socio-emotional learning programs called Read Haiti, which currently serves 350 schools and 85,000 students across five dioceses in Haiti.
Before joining the ACE Haiti team, Kate worked for Notre Dame's Kellogg Institute for International Studies coordinating the University's response to the January 2010 earthquake and for the Notre Dame Haiti Program, a public health initiative focused on the elimination of lymphatic filariasis. She has taught both Latin American Politics and seminars on development in Haiti at Wheaton College.
Kate was a Rotary Foreign Exchange student in Bangkok, Thailand, from 1997 to 1998, studied abroad in Còrdoba, Argentina, and interned for the U.S. State Department at the Embassy in Bangkok in 2000. After graduating from Wheaton College, summa cum laude, with a degree in political science and Spanish in 2002, she taught at a Haitian K-12 school and provided adult education courses in Cap-Haitien, Haiti. She went on to earn a master's degree in Latin American studies from Tulane University in 2005, where she was a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellow for Haitian Creole. Kate is fluent in both Haitian Creole and Spanish, and is currently a PhD candidate (ABD) in political science at the University of Notre Dame. She resides in Chicago with her husband, son, and daughter and serves on the school board for St. Procopius Catholic School, a dual-language (Spanish/English) pre-K to 8 academy in the Pilsen neighborhood.