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Council Period 12
Council Period 13
Linda W. Cropp at the request of the Mayor
A PROPOSED RESOLUTION IN
THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
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
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
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
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CURTIS LEWIS & ASSOCIATES, P.C.
733 15th St. NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC, 20005
Tel: 202 737-3020
Fax: 202 737-5001
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
SUMMARY OF LEGAL EXPERIENCE
IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
SUMMARY OF OTHER EXPERIENCE
Director, International Division, Curtis Lewis
& Associates, Washington D. C., July 1990 to the present.
Peace Corps, Lome, Togo, from 1986 to 1990.
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.
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
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.