Wyclef Jean, founder and chairman of Y�le Haiti has announced that he will relinquish his leadership role with the nongovernmental organization to run for president of Haiti.
Jean, a Grammy Award-winning musician and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador to Haiti, established Y�le Haiti in 2005 to help improve conditions in his homeland. Since its inception, Y�le Haiti has placed nearly ten thousand children in schools and provided food, jobs, and HIV/AIDS prevention training to thousands of teens and adults.
Derek Q. Johnson, who helped revitalize Harlem's famed Apollo Theater, will assume the position of CEO at Y�le Haiti. Prior to his work at the Apollo, Johnson served as senior executive at Time Warner Inc., where he was chief of staff for chairman and CEO Richard Parsons.
After the magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck the Caribbean nation in January, Y�le Haiti raised more than $9 million for emergency relief efforts; it also faced questions about its finances and accounting practices. According to the New York Times, the Smoking Gun Web site reported that the organization made payments to Jean and his businesses for performances and the Internal Revenue Service levied tax liens totaling more than $2.1 million against him for the years 2006, 2007, and 2008.
"For the past five years, Y�le has been a huge part of life for me, my wife, Claudinette, and the rest of our family, and I am proud of what we've been able to accomplish for the country and people we love," Jean said. "Derek has shown me that he is the right person to ensure Y�le is fulfilling our vision of bringing Haiti through this dark time, and making real progress in ensuring that the children of my homeland can look to a brighter future."