Dr. Jean Orelien tackles trade barriers between U.S. and Haiti
The leader of North Carolina's largest African-American owned federal contractor met with officials of the International Trade Administration and Export-Import Bank to change a policy which prevents export finance for projects in Haiti.
He sees investment and trade as part of the healing process for the island nation. He's hopeful that the International Monetary Fund and other financial mechanisms will change the policy. More trade missions to Haiti are being scheduled in the future.
Dr. Orelien founded SciMetrika, LLC in 2001. He has more than a decade of experience as a senior statistician and project manager on projects funded by agencies of the Department of Health and Human Services. He is an expert in the development of sophisticated statistical programs, the utilization of statistical methods to analyze epidemiological data, survey analysis, and the use of SUDAAN and SAS software.
The statistician is among the 50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology. They gather in Washington, D.C. Jan. 15 for Innovation & Equity 2013: Keeping America First in Technology: Public Innovation and Supplier Diversity. Making connections with public policy makers is an important part of the job for business leaders like Dr. Orelien.
He spent March 12 through March 19, 2010 assessing the ways in which SciMetrika could help in surveying the impact of the earthquake and the ongoing needs of the survivors, and in assisting the U.S. government in the provision of shelters, latrines and temporary office buildings.
"My wife Valery and I were born in Haiti and that we still have brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles, aunts and nieces who live in the country. In light of so much devastation, we cannot stay idle while friends and blood relatives are suffering," said the statistician.
He took part in Statistics Without Borders survey of Haitian public health conditions later in 2010, giving a report at the American Statistical Association convention.
Despite the toppled houses, rubble and prevalence of tents for shelter, Dr. Orelien said that he found the spirits of the survivors to be very high. At the same time, the lack of adequate shelter should be of major concern to the world community, especially with the onset of Haiti’s rainy season.
Dr. Orelien and SciMetrika’s Director of Human Resources, Lisa Lipscomb, also organized a drive to collect medical supplies and other necessities, as well as monetary donations, to be sent to Haiti through the non-profit organization Amour-en-Action, Inc in March.
The aftershocks of the January earthquake may be over, but the country is still in need of aid. As a successful entrepreneur, he also believes development is necessary in Haiti to create economic viability for the population and is encouraging investors to take a look at business opportunities.
Dr. Orelien received his doctorate of public health in biostatistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his master of statistics from North Carolina State University. He has authored a number of technical and scientific papers and presentations and is a member of the American Statistical Association and the American Public Health Association.