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Board of Trustees of the University of the District of Columbia Robert Nicolas Confirmation Resolution of 2001
PR 14-228

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Chairman Linda W. Cropp at the request of the Mayor


To confirm the appointment of Mr. Robert Nicolas to the Board of Trustees of the University of the District of Columbia.

RESOLVED, BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this resolution may be cited as the "Board of Trustees of the University of the District of Columbia Robert Nicolas Confirmation Resolution of 2001".

Sec. 2. The Council of the District of Columbia confirms the appointment of:

Mr. Robert Nicolas
820 Varnum Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20011
(Ward 4)

as a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of the District of Columbia, established by section 201 of the District of Columbia Public Postsecondary Education Reorganization Act, approved October 26, 1974 (88 Stat. 1424; D.C. Code § 31-1511), completing the unexpired term of Peggy Cooper Cafritz, which will end May 15, 2004.

Sec. 3. The Council of the District of Columbia shall transmit a copy of this resolution, upon its adoption, each to the nominee and to the Office of the Mayor.

Sec. 4. This resolution shall take effect immediately.

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733 15th St. NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC, 20005
Tel: 202 737-3020
Fax: 202 737-5001 

Home Address:
820 Varnum Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20011


J.D., Law, University of California, Davis School of Law, 1974; B. A., Political Science, Minors in Economics and History, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1971, including one year in the Study Abroad Program at the Universite de Bordeaux, Faculte de Droit et de Science Politique. 



At Curtis Lewis & Associates, P.C., Mr. Nicolas, as Director of the International Division, is currently responsible for all corporate, bilateral and international client project implementation overseas. These projects include the preparation and review of contracts, trade agreements, corporate formation, training of government and non-government personnel on legal issues, business law, democratization and the development of its enabling environment, human rights and various other activities related to small and medium enterprise development. In addition some of his current projects include the following:

a) TRADING: Negotiation and packaging of commodities transactions between private West African producers/sellers and corporate North American and European buyers. Depending on the transactions, at times Mr. Nicolas acts as counsel or broker. Some of his recent transactions involved agricultural products, precious, ferrous and non ferrous metals with clients in Kenya, Zaire and other parts of Africa.

b) SMALL ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT: The design of the Micro enterprise Component of a Young Women's Development Center for a PVO in Brazzaville, Congo. This project includes training, loan and technical assistance components; Mr. Nicolas had to familiarize himself with the Congolese laws applicable to business in general in the design of this project; 

c) The design and implementation of a development package for a cosmetic assembly and packaging plant in Lome for a private client; familiarity with the Togolese legal system was also essential to meet the needs of this client and to work with local counsel; 

d) The design and implementation of an African Market Development Program for Small and Medium sized Light Industrial Manufacturers in the ECOWAS ZONE.

e) In June-July, 1991, he designed and conducted a USAID-financed Small Enterprise Development training course for a group of government administrators from several French-speaking African countries at Clark-Atlanta University; Mr. Nicolas also had to familiarize himself with the commercial codes and related laws and regulations of several countries in order to prepare this seminar;

f) CREDIT In July-September 1991, for the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), he led a team which conducted a study to review and analyze the credit situation for micro and small entrepreneurs in Haiti, recommended a national strategy and designed projects which will use micro and small credit systems to alleviate unemployment and underemployment in targeted urban and rural regions;

g) In December 1991, in Ethiopia, for the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), he led a team that conducted a feasibility study, assessing the possibility of establishing a structure for the disbursement of credit for grass-roots productive activities in the rural and urban sectors; 

h) April-May 1994, with Africare, he led a team designing a USAID-funded grass-roots credit project for rural production and processing associations in the Tombali Region of Guinea-Bissau. One of his responsibilities included the review of the legal and judicial impediments to the development of a grass roots credit infrastructure.

i) SED/TRAINING In January-April 1992, with AED, Mr. Nicolas led a three-person team to conduct a study for USAID to review the linkages between the training and education sectors, and the needs of the private sector in Burundi for trained manpower. This study included an extensive review of the legal framework needed to develop an enabling environment for private sector employment. 

j) In August 1992, in Burundi, with Clark-Atlanta University, he led a team of trainers to conduct a USAID-financed, one-week training seminar for high-level government officials on support for the private sector by the public sector. The legal framework needed to support a competitive and viable private sector was an important component of this activity;

k) In August 1992, in Burkina Faso, with Clark-Atlanta University, he conducted the needs assessment and design for two USAID-financed, 3-week SED workshops for local business persons. Legal issues for the small entrepreneur were very prominent in these two workshops;

l) In January-February 1993,-with Clark Atlanta University, he also designed and conducted two USAID-funded 3-week seminars for the Burkina Faso Chamber of Commerce in Small and Medium Enterprise Creation and Management. These seminars included extensive modules on the-legal issues involved in starting and managing a small business. 

m) DEMOCRATIZATION/HUMAN RIGHTS In October 1992, in Cameroon, he was a member of an NDI delegation to observe the presidential elections. He had to become quickly familiar with Cameroonian electoral law, procedures and regulations and be able to provide detailed analysis of instances of electoral law violations or fraud;

n) With GERDDES/Afrique, has worked with various Francophone Africa democratization movements, including but not limited to election monitoring, development of political party structures, training of poll watchers from independent parties and non-affiliated groups.

While with the Peace Corps, in Togo Mr. Nicolas prepared, negotiated and was responsible for the implementation of various procurement and training contracts used by the agency in its project activities throughout the country. He also conducted various training activities to provide business law skills to project participants.

While at Development Assistance Corporation, Mr. Nicolas acted as general counsel for the Firm and prepared, negotiated and oversaw the implementation of all project contracts with USAID, the World Bank and the African Development Bank. These projects were implemented in about twelve French-speaking African and Caribbean countries.

While at Phelps-Stokes Fund, Mr. Nicolas worked as a business development specialist with the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Project for developing institutions in the US and the Caribbean. He was responsible for project conceptualization, design, proposal development and some limited training of participants. This project also called for the use of his legal skills and knowledge of commercial and contract law. He also worked extensively on keeping abreast of developments in the Congress which were of interest to the Fund's constituents.

As an Independent Consultant, Mr. Nicolas worked with private clients and various consulting firms to assist SBA loan and other program applicants in the preparation of their business development plans and loan/financing packages, 8A applications, and corporate organization and formation.


Director, International Division, Curtis Lewis & Associates, Washington D. C., July 1990 to the present.

As Director of the Law Firm's International Division, Mr. Nicolas is responsible for all international operations, including identifying and retaining corporate clients seeking to establish light industrial operations overseas, especially West Africa. With the assistance of his Washington staff and affiliates overseas, Mr. Nicolas directs the Firm's Commodities Trading Activities and advises clients on legal issues and business strategies in the establishment of their manufacturing operations, in capturing foreign markets and provides logistical and other field support services to reach these ends. He is currently responsible for the projects described earlier. He is also responsible for the implementation of various other short-term development studies in Africa and the Caribbean contracted to the Firm by private clients, various international and bilateral organizations. His work requires extensive travel to Africa, Europe and the Caribbean.

Country Director Peace Corps, Lome, Togo, from 1986 to 1990.

As Country Director, Mr. Nicolas represented the U. S. Peace Corps in the Republic of Togo. He was responsible for all Peace Corps operations in the country which included 140 Peace Corps Volunteers and a staff of 100 professional, clerical and logistical support employees. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, with the assistance of his 4 Associate Directors, Mr. Nicolas handled relations with the host country government at the national, regional and village levels; he also managed relations with collaborating organizations, both international (World Bank, UN and European Agencies, etc.) and non-profit (CARE International, World Council of Credit Unions etc.); with the support of short-term consultants, he was also responsible for project design, management and evaluation of Peace Corps' program in Togo, which included, among others, two Small Enterprise Development Projects in the urban and rural sectors. His duties also required extensive travel throughout Togo and frequent travel to the neighboring countries in the region.

Vice President for International Programs, Development Assistance Corporation (DAC), Washington D.C., 1980 to 1986.

As DAC's Vice-President Mr. Nicolas was responsible for all aspects of the Firms Agricultural and Education Project Marketing, Design, Budgeting, Implementation, Procurement and Evaluation. He handled all contract negotiations and management, hired and supervised a staff of 21 long-term development specialists and many additional short-term consultants working on the West African and Caribbean Projects. He was also responsible for the logistics, administrative and back-stopping support of all Africa-based staff and their dependents. His work at DAC required continuous contacts with other consulting firms, African and Caribbean Governments officials, universities, private voluntary organizations, various U.S. Federal Government and international organizations, and familiarity with their administrative procedures and regulations (USAID, US State Department, African Development Bank, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank etc.). His work required substantial legal expertise in fields of corporate law and administrative regulations such as government contracting including familiarity with DAR (Defense Acquisition Regulations) and the FAR (Federal Procurement Regulations).

His work at DAC also required extensive travel to Africa (Senegal, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Rwanda, Togo, Cameroon, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Mali, Tunisia, Morocco, etc.) and the Caribbean (Jamaica, Haiti, etc.).

As a corporate officer he was responsible for the formulation of the firm's yearly business development plans, administrative policy and their implementation.

Program Coordinator, Phelps-Stokes Fund, Washington Bureau, Washington, D.C. 19771980.

Mr. Nicolas was responsible for the design, implementation and evaluation of an Educational Management Program for the Washington Bureau of the Phelps Stokes Fund. He designed and conducted management training workshops and conferences in the United States, West Africa and the Caribbean. He was also responsible for the preparation and negotiation of management consultant service delivery contracts; he had to keep abreast of legislative and regulatory developments related to developing institutions; he reviewed legislation related to and impacting on these institutions; he reviewed and interpreted documents and procedures to ensure compliance with HEW/OE regulations.

While with the Fund, Mr. Nicolas handled special assignments in international training programs, at the request of the Director. These projects required extensive travel in the Caribbean, West and North Africa.

Management Consultant, Washington based independent consultant from 1978-1980.

As a management consultant, Mr. Nicolas provided development assistance for small and medium-scale enterprises. He worked, on a contractual basis, for various individuals, private and non-profit entities. He also provided legal and management services to individuals and organizations who had been granted SBA loans; designed and reviewed business development plans and structures for small business and projects in the urban and rural sectors; he also conducted various project evaluations in the US and abroad.

Interpreter, Self-employed, 1976-1977.

Law Clerk, U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 1974-1975.


An active board member of several Haitian-American community organizations such as the Haitian American For Economic Development, the Haitian-American Alliance and the National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians. In addition, an active member of the democratic party in his Ward of residence.


Fluent French and Haitian Creole, working knowledge of Spanish.


Provided upon request.

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