Alumnus Advocates for Education at SUNY and Around the World

p37-jeanpierreGrowing up in Haiti, Abner JeanPierre ’90 was among a generation of Haitian children deprived of adequate access to education—an obstacle that shaped his future.

“I am passionate about giving children living in poverty a better tomorrow,” JeanPierre said. “Being from Haiti, I learned at an early age the tremendous power that government holds, and how that authority can be exercised for good or ill. My current position gives me a tremendous opportunity to be involved in the many different ways that New York state government plays a positive role in the life of citizens.”

JeanPierre has worked in the public sector for more than 20 years in positions involving research, analysis, compensation and classification. He is currently the director of classification and compensation at the New York State Department of Civil Service in Albany (N.Y.), where he oversees the department’s programs for nearly 70 state agencies and 150,000 employees.

A veteran of the United States Air Force, JeanPierre earned a B.A. in communications from SUNY Oswego and a master of public administration degree from SUNY Albany. He received the Governor’s 2003 Tribute to Leaders of Excellence in State Service, and has served on the Council of SUNY Albany for the past six years.

“My SUNY education opened up many doors for me, and I want others to continue to have that opportunity,” JeanPierre said. “Part of the Council’s role is to advocate, collectively and individually, with policymakers about a host of issues affecting SUNY Albany and the entire SUNY system.” These issues include appropriate funding for SUNY, reasonable tuition, continued capital investment and support for tuition assistance programs, JeanPierre said.

“I have benefitted enormously from my SUNY education, and I would like to do my part to ensure that SUNY remains strong for future students, especially those from low- to middle-income families,” JeanPierre said.

JeanPierre is also a child advocate and event representative for Compassion International, an organization operating in 26 countries. Through its child sponsorship program, Compassion works with more than 1.5 million children living in poverty, giving them the tools to become contributing members of society.

JeanPierre and his wife, Norma, live in Latham, N.Y. They have three sons.

—Eileen Crandall

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