On July 7, Martine Moïse was shot multiple times when gunmen invaded her family’s home and assassinated her husband in a barrage of bullets. Moïse was subsequently flown to Miami to receive medical treatment. Since then, rumors about her condition have been circulating, with the latest being a debunked voice message purportedly from her circulating.

But before the week’s events around the assassination, Haiti’s latest First Lady had gained a reputation as an well-educated business manager with influence over her husband and various programs that impacted the country. 

In brief, here are ten key things to know about Moïse.

  1. Born Martine Marie Étienne Joseph, Moïse grew up in the capital city of Port-au-Prince. 
  2. Moïse studied interpretation at Université Quisqueya, a private university in the capital, where she graduated in 1997.
  3. At Université Quisqueya, she met her future husband, Jovenel Moïse. They married a year before she graduated.
  4. Moise later moved to Port-de-Paix, the commune located about 66 miles west of Cap-Haïtien where her husband is from, to work in rural development.
  5. The couple has three children with Jovenel Moïse: Jomarlie, 25; Joverlein, 29, and Jovenel, Jr.
  6. Moïse was involved in various programs during her tenure as first lady, including president of Fondasyon Klere Ayiti, where she distributed school supplies across the country. 
  7. When her husband took office, Moïse was appointed as president of coordination for the Global Fund in Haiti, where she helped address diseases like HIV/AIDS and malaria in the country.
  8. Like her husband, Moïse was known as a businesswoman who had extensive managerial experience through her family enterprise in the Northwest Department. 
  9. Her primary focus as first lady was children, with the slogan of her office being “All for the children.” 
  10. Working with the National Office of Identification, she started the program “Kontem Mwen Konte,” which translates to “Count Me, I Matter,” to register babies and provide birth certificates at maternity and birth centers throughout the country.

Information compiled from: Meaww, SCLAN, Heavy  

Larisa is a reporter for The Haitian Times covering politics, elections and education primarily. A graduate of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, she has interned at CNBC and the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network. She is also a recipient of a 2021 DBEI Fellowship by Investigative Reporters & Editors. Larisa can be reached by email at larisa@haitiantimes.com or on Twitter @larisakarr.

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