Cherie Abbanat

Lecturer of International Development and Urban Studies

Cherie is a lecturer at DUSP and in the Department of Architecture where she has been teaching for over eleven years. Cherie lectures on policy, non-profit management, post-disaster rebuilding in New Orleans and Haiti, and the need for grassroots initiatives.


Prior to teaching in SA&P, Cherie was a lecturer in CMS/Writing, creating and designing Communication-Intensive writing and presentation classes, pioneering the first such class, using funds from an NSF grant with Prof. Ole Madsen in Civil and Environmental Engineering.  As a lectuerer, Cherie then designed and taught writing across the curriculum classes in Architecture, Chemical Engineering, Physics, Civil Engineering, AeroAstro, DUSP, among other departments at MIT.  

As a practitioner, Cherie joined Haiti Projects Inc., a 501 (c)3 non-profit, in 2013 as its CEO to transform Haiti Projects from a fledgling non-profit into a growing social enterprise. Cherie successfully turned Haiti Projects around financially and then grew the non-profit.  Cherie had a staff of 4 employees in the US and anywhere from 150 - 200 employees in Haiti, mostly women.  

Haiti Projects operates a women's sewing cooperative, a women's health clinic that focuses on family planning, health and hygiene services for women and girs.  Also, Cherie designed along side the commuity and architects built the first maker library in Haiti.  The library is off-the-grid, solar-powered, and included a rain-water collection system.  Cherie raised a total of about $4 million over the years to support various projects, including the maker library.

Cherie has also held consulting positions and positions in government working for the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, regulating telecommunication and cable companies prior to deregulation. 

As a Haitian/American, Cherie is passionate about empowering women in Haiti and throughout the world.

Cherie has her undergraduate degree in Economics and French from Simmons College and her Masters with a concentration in Environmental Policy and Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MCP '97).