Who We Are?

Our Mission

The Roraima Institute (TRI) is a non-partisan research and policy institute. We develop local-global networks and partnerships that facilitate research, policy analysis, knowledge creation, citizen engagement, acquisition of skills and the promotion of sustainable development in Guyana and abroad.

OBJECTIVES

  • Undertake interdisciplinary research with implementable recommendations that will strengthen   democratic institutions and lead to sustainable development.
  • Convene multi-sectoral stakeholders at all levels of society to engage in policy development, analysis and implementation
  • Develop and implement programs to educate, train and empower citizens to more effectively act as agents of economic and social change.
  • Create and support a network of local and global leaders from civil society, in academia, the non-governmental and private sectors that are equipped to collaborate on achievable actions that strengthen governance within democratic institutions.

BOARD MEMBERS

President
FLOYD HAYNES

Mr. Haynes is Founder-President of The Roraima Institute (TRI). 

Floyd Haynes is a professional with 30+ years of senior- and executive-level experience. He is a Certified Public Accountant who holds a MSc. in Financial Economics from the University of Oxford, and a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He is an adjunct Professor in Finance, and Accounting at the University of the District of Columbia., and a Public lecturer in leadership and Management. Mr. Haynes is University of Guyana Education Ambassador.In addition, Mr. Haynes is also President of Haynes Incorporated, a Washington DC based Accounting and Management consulting firm.

vice president
Sulare Telford

Dr. Sulare Telford Rose is a bilingual speech-language pathologist and an assistant professor at the University of the District of Columbia. She received her doctorate from Howard University in Communication Sciences and Disorders with cognate areas in sociolinguistics and psychometrics. Sulare is a child language specialist with research interests bilingualism, Caribbean English Creoles, and cultural anthropology.

Director
PAUL NEHRU TENNASSEE

Paul Nehru Tennassee is a Bi-lingual Director of The Roraima Institute. He teaches at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC), Washington DC. He holds a Diploma in Social
Studies-Oxford University, BA York University, Canada, MA-History Central University of Venezuela and an MA in Government-The Johns Hopkins University, USA.

He authored two peer reviewed books: “Venezuela: The Oil Workers & The Struggle for Democracy 1918-1948″ (in Spanish) and The History of The National Alliance of Postal & Federal Employees/Treat US Right Not White” 1913-1945. He has researched and written on Guyana, Caribbean, Venezuela, Canada & USA; including research commissioned by Action Aid International on Guyana The Causes of Poverty / Recommendations for an AAIA Strategy. His Paper on Recommendations For a Guyana Diaspora Policy was published by The University of Guyana Press 2018. He also wrote several booklets including Guyana A Case for Free and Fair Elections. The Nationalization of The Sugar & Bauxite Industry 1970-1980.

He was a Co-Chair of “Aspirations for Real Change” Conference that was held at UDC/Washington DC in April 2016.  

As Director of The Roraima Institute (TRI), he co-conducted Listening Interviews in five (5) regions of Guyana; and authored “Listening Interview Series #1” which was presented at Cara Lodge, Georgetown, Guyana. 

He was the Director of International Affairs at University of the District of Columbia, Director of International Affairs at the National Alliance of Postal Federal Employees, USA.  He also served as Director of World Confederation of Labor (WCL) Washington Liaison Office; and the WCL Permanent Representative at the United Nations. He is a Host-Producer of CaribNationTV Program and completed over 200 shows aired across the world. Tennassee was the Democratic Labor Movement (DLM) Presidential Candidate in 1985 & 1992. 

He is the recipient of an Award “Restorer of Democracy”  from the Y50 Anniversary Committee, New York. Recipient of the Pinnacle Award from National Coalition on Caribbean Affairs. In 2019, he received an award “Accomplishment in Service / Advocacy” from the College of Arts & Sciences / University of the District of Columbia. He is a Life Member of the Oxford Union.

Dr. Marissa D. Alert

Dr Marissa D. Alert is the Associate Director of Quality and Outcomes Measurement, Johns Hopkins HealthCare Solutions Education and Training 2019-present She holds a B.A., cum laude, Psychology, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH Doctoral/Graduate; an M.S., Clinical Psychology, University of Miami (APA Accredited), Miami, FL Award of Academic Merit; and a Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, University of Miami (APA Accredited), Miami, FL Award of Academic Merit Specializations: Health Psychology. Also, a Postdoctoral Fellow, National Institutes of Health (NIH) T32 Training Grant in Behavioral Research in Heart and Vascular Disease Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine. 2017-present National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) Certified Lifestyle Coach, National Diabetes Prevention Program. Created a new DPP session that was approved by the Centers for Disease Control.

Her Original Research [OR] includes: Mukamal, K. J., Alert, M.D., Maclure, M., Muller, J. E., Mittleman, M. A. (2006). Tea consumption and infarct-related ventricular arrhythmias: The determinants of myocardial infarction onset study. Journal of American College of Nutrition, 25(6), 472-479. Roberts, M. E., Gibbons, F. X., Gerrard, M., Alert, M. D. (2011). Optimism and adolescent perception of skin cancer risk. Health Psychology, 30(6), 810-813. Psaros, C., Kagan, L., Auba, E., Alert, M.D., Park, E. R. (2012). A brief report of depressive symptoms and health promoting behaviors among women with infertility attending a clinical mind-body program. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology, 33(1), 32-36. Alert, M. D., Rastegar, S., Foret, M., Slipp, L., Jacquart, J., Macklin, E.A, Baim, M., Benson, H., Denninger, J. W., Yeung, A. (2013). The effectiveness of a comprehensive mind body weight loss intervention for overweight and obese adults: A pilot study. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 21(4). Psaros, C., Kagan, L., Shifren, J. L., Willett, J., Jacquart, J., Alert, M. D., Macklin, E. A., Styer, A. K., Denninger, J. W., LaRoche, K. L., Park, E. R. (2014). Mind-body group treatment for women coping with infertility: a pilot study. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology, 36(2), 75-83. She also published: Clennan, M. K., Carucci, D. S., Chiles, S. E., Alert, M. D., La, A. R., Leeder, M. I., & Saab, P. (2017). Get in the GROOVE: Promoting a healthy reality. In Integrating an Awareness of Selfhood and Society into Virtual Learning (pp. 145-164). IGI Global. She also received an Award, Honors Postdoctoral 2018 Reverend Melvin B Tuggle Award for Community Excellence, Honorable Mention, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public In 2017 she was a Speaker at The Guyana Metropolitan Relief Organization Inc. (Guymetro), “Getting to the Heart of the Matter: Preventing and Treating Heart Disease,” Georgetown, Guyana.

Seema Thomas

Seema Thomas has been working on urban challenges for the past two decades as an urban and water specialist with a focus on community engagement. Prior to working at the World Bank, she worked with the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide grants to universities focused on efforts to support disaster reduction risk management.  Before her decade of grants management experience, her career focused on research and analytical work in low-income housing, residential transitions, and migration effects. She has a masters of distinction in urban planning from Harvard University, a masters of public affairs from Princeton University, and a bachelor of science in engineering, with honors, from the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Kamla B. Deonauth

Dr Kamla B. Deonauth is Guyanese American and currently serves as Howard University’s Director of the Center of Excellence for Future Faculty (CEFF), and the Co-Institutional Leader for the Center of Integration of Research Teaching and
Learning (CIRTL) in the Graduate School. Previously she was a faculty member in the Department of Biology at Howard. She completed her BS in Biology at George Mason University, her MS in Molecular Biology at Purdue University, and her Ph.D.
in Developmental Biology at Howard University. She spent three years at the Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown University where she completed her postdoctoral studies in tumor angiogenesis. Kamla is passionate about teaching and
serves as an adjunct professor at the University of the District of Columbia as well as the University of Maryland Global Campus. Kamla teaches a variety of courses, including but not limited to : Clinical Microbiology, The Biology of Human Disease, and Cancer Biology. She has lived in Geneva Switzerland for many years and is bilingual, speaking English and French.

Selvon Waldron

Selvon Malcolm Waldron has a long professional background as a leader in social good programs, having sourced and managed over $40 million in federal and local government funds in support of human development and education programs. He currently the Director of Student Services programs at Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School where he leads a team focused on student life, employability, case management and exposing thousands of DC immigrants to college and careers in Washington, DC.

Selvon previously led the nationally recognized arts education and mentoring non-profit – Life Pieces To Masterpieces – as their Executive Director. In his time at Life Pieces To Masterpieces he led a 22% increase in their revenue to 1.3 million annually

 In 2015 he was awarded the Honorable Ron H. Brown Distinguished Leadership award. In February 2016, he was the recipient of the Amtrak/Monumental Pioneer Award for community and youth activism and in July 2016 he was awarded a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from Congresswoman Eleanor Norton in appreciation of outstanding and invaluable service to the community. In December 2016, he was awarded the William Kellibrew Foundation’s Harvey-Davis Founders Award and in 2017 he was a finalist for the Education Award from the D.C. Office on Latino Affairs. 

Waldron has completed graduate course-work in Applied Economics at the University of Maryland-College Park and he completed the Georgetown University Education Policy and Program Evaluation graduate certificate program. Waldron earned both his BBA in Management and his MBA from the University of the District of Columbia. 

Kahina Haynes

Ms. Kahina Haynes, Executive Director, is a passionate arts activist and the visionary architect behind DIW’s strategic revitalization following the
significant loss of its Founder/Artistic Director, Fabian Barnes. Prior to her appointment by The Board of Directors, Ms. Haynes worked in program and process evaluation for a number of philanthropic and non-profit organizations including the United Nations (Bureau for Development Policy at UNDP), The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Safe Kids Worldwide, and the World Bank Group. Ms. Haynes holds a B.A. from Princeton University with a Minor in African American Studies and a concentration in Dance; as well as, a
master’s degree from Oxford University in Evidence Based Social
Intervention. Today, at The Dance Institute of Washington, Ms. Haynes’
primary goal is to continue to uphold the mission; namely, that all youth and
families have equal access to exceptional dance training; and that the African American experience is celebrated through high quality art works from both
local and visiting artists, students and professionals alike.

ADVISERS

André Dukhia

André Dukhia is a Tourism Advisor to The Roraima Institute. Andre is a graduate from the University of Guyana, he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Tourism Studies and has over 25 years experience working in the Government and Not for Profit sector in Guyana and Ontario Canada. Previously Andre worked with the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), the German Organization for Technical Cooperation (GTZ), the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), Nature and Outdoor Tourism Ontario (NOTO) and Tourism Northern Ontario (TNO). During the course of his career his area of expertise spanned tourism development, tourism policy development and analysis, tourism planning, marketing and community economic development. Andre has worked on numerous projects both in Guyana and Canada, he is an active member of the Economic Developers Association of Canada and is the holder of the Project Management Professional (PMP) accreditation from the Project Management Institute. Andre is currently a college professor in Toronto. He teaches a number of specialized tourism and business courses including project management and services marketing with Seneca Business in the School of Hospitality and Tourism. 

Joseph D. Ragnauth

Joseph D. Ragnauth is currently a businessman. He is a Broker-Owner of Joe R Realty in New York. He holds a Diploma in Social Studies from Oxford University. He was a Co-Founder of Guyana Human Rights and Student Association (1968-1969) and Acting General Secretary of Guyana Farmers & Workers Union (GFWU) in 1970. He represented GFWU at the International Labor Organization (ILO) Seminar & Conference in Geneva, October 1970. He also was a CLAT delegate to the World Confederation of Labor Milan, Italy Labor Seminar in November 1970. in 1976, he represented Plater College, Oxford, on behalf of Guyanese Students, at the ACP- EU Meeting in Brussels, Belgium. He was a delegate to the WCL Manila, Phillipines Congress. In 1981, he attended a Guyanese Research & Representation Services (GRRS)/CLAT Seminar at the Latin American Workers University, in San Antonio, Venezuela. In 1979, he was the Representative of the GRRS in New York; and the Coordinator for American Committee for Free & Fair Elections 1984- 1992, in New York.

Pepey Rahaman

Pepey Rahaman is a Businessman. Currently, he is a Realtor in New York.  He studied at Hollywood Real Estate Institute. He was Organizing Secretary for the Democratic Labor Movement (DLM) in the 1980s. He struggled for free and Fair Elections and assisted in organizing events for the Patriotic Coalition for Democracy (PCD). He hails from Lusignan and attended Annadale Secondary School.

Collin Haynes

Collin Haynes is an International Public Health and Healthcare IT consultant. He is involved in the training, advising and program support to healthcare system for electronic medical record systems. 

Prior to a career in healthcare information technology, he also has been involved in planning, implementing and monitoring & evaluation of public health programs in the areas of HIV/AIDS, migrant health, disaster risk reduction and non communicable diseases in the United States, Guyana and Asia. 

Collin Haynes received a Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry and International Relations from Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Maryland and a Masters of Public Health from Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California. Recently, he has finished his coursework requirements for a Masters of Business Administration in strategic health management. 

TAKISHA WILSON

Takisha Wilson is the CEO and founder of Purposed Life Coaching and Consulting, LLC. She has over 16 years of experience as an International Speaker, Trainer, Clinical Counselor, and in Leadership Development. Ms. Wilson specializes in working with youth, young adults and women. Her experiences spans from working with first-time/generation College students, at-risk youth, juveniles, and youth with disabilities; Ms.Wilson also specializes in women’s issues, and works with small business owners. Ms. Wilson has a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Rehabilitation Services from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and a Master’s of Arts Degree in Counseling Psychology from the College of Saint Elizabeth. 

Additionally, she has completed course work in the field of International Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology; and she is a certified Gallup Strength’s Finder Coach. Ms. Wilson currently works as a Career and Development Counselor at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC), in Washington, D.C.; and she is the coordinator of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Leadership Institute at UDC. 

Moreover, she has done International work as a Trainer; Ms. Wilson co-facilitated training at TANI, a social service agency in Peru, on the topic of “Signs of Domestic Violence Abuse among Children.” Also, she presented her research paper titled “Youth and the Challenges of Sustainable Employment: A Global Concern and a Concern of the Diaspora of Guyana”, at the University of Guyana’s Diaspora Conference in Georgetown, Guyana. Ms. Wilson’s overall goal is to assist youth and women, discover and purse their purpose and mission in life.