Nick Allien graduated from Northeastern University in 2013 with an M.S. in Energy Systems and a Graduate Certificate in Engineering Leadership from The Gordon Institute of Engineering Leadership. In the last six years, Nick has returned home to Haiti and is now working as a Project Manager at the Ministry of Public Works, Transportation, and Communication. We caught up with Nick and asked him some questions about his career post-graduation, here’s what he had to say:
Where has your career taken you since leaving The Gordon Institute?
After I graduated from The Gordon Program, I returned to Haiti and resumed my career. I assumed many different positions in the last six years moving up in leadership and responsibilities.
In my current role as Project Manager at the Ministry of Public Works, Transportation and Communication (MTPTC), the Ministry in charge of energy in Haiti, I lead a team of four specialists implementing two World Bank projects, “Renewable Energy for All” and “Modern Energy Services for All”, amounting to a total budget of $35.5 million.
The main objectives of these projects are to develop the country’s renewable energy potential and expand energy access. I am also supporting, designing and implementing energy policies and regulations to improve access to clean and reliable energy services. Additionally, I am collaborating with diverse national and international specialists on technical, procurement and financial aspects. Under my leadership, with support from the World Bank, my team successfully launched Haiti’s first tender for private sector-led mini-grids in Haiti.
I also support the overall energy sector operation and coordination by the Ministry in collaboration with other government counterparts. In coordination with the energy regulator (ANARSE), the national utility (EDH), and other development partners, I am contributing to development and implementation of Haiti’s national energy strategy for the transformation from an underdeveloped, unreliable, and expensive fossil fuel-based electricity generation mix to a modern and sustainable energy system relying on diverse sources of power. I partake in energy sector-wide dialogue with public, private and international stakeholders on such strategy and associated energy policy. I am closely working with the regulator, EDH and international partners in planning, designing and implementing competitive tender processes to award concession for power grids where private concessionaire will be responsible for power generation, distribution grid expansion, operation, maintenance, metering, and revenue collection.
I have also joined University Quisqueya in Haiti as an adjunct professor where I am teaching courses related to conceptual physics and energy and support students doing research in these areas.
What components of the Gordon Program curriculum have translated to your career?
There are two key learning points that have transcended from The Gordon Institute classroom into my daily work life. I try to refresh, and constantly use the requirement to commit to my organization and boss’ success, contribute to my boss’ ability to shine, and to always show respect to my leaders. The program also gave me insight on how to effectively build a great team. The Gordon Program coursework and challenge project experience have allowed me to build my teammates confidence and commitment by following the Laws of Building a Cathedral, with this came the ability to communicate, build trust, and negotiate.
What would you tell someone considering the program?
I would urge them to go for it without hesitation. Earning a Graduate Certificate in Engineering Leadership is a guaranteed way to accelerate your career and ensure a transition into leadership roles. It’s also a perfect mix with graduate engineering programs at Northeastern University. Combining my M.S. in Energy Systems with the Gordon Program enabled me to develop the engineering, technical, and leadership skills required to advance my career.
What are some key accomplishments you have made in your career?
Some accomplishments that I am particularly proud of include: a leading role in designing and implementing innovative, groundbreaking, and transformative projects and initiatives in the energy sector in Haiti. It’s always a challenge to bring change in a system or organization. In the past few years, my role involved designing and leading the implementation of projects that bring innovation and major transformation in the way the Haitian energy sector has been operating in the past decades. I’ve had the opportunity to play an influential role in the energy sector and support the strengthening of the organizations I work with to promote a higher level of accountability. I’m developing trust with key national and international stakeholders and building a strong and reliable team in my current role.
You’ve done so many beneficial things to impact Haiti in such a major way, what’s next for you?
Completing my current projects that I am coordinating and witnessing the results on the ground with fellow Haitian citizens. I’m very much looking forward to experiencing improved access to reliable energy services for the first time.
My long-term goals are to Increase my experience, leadership, and influence both nationally and internationally. And to begin professional coaching and mentoring – because I think I would find enjoyment in sharing the skills and abilities gained through The Gordon Program and my career.