jean_monestime_marc_mathieu_web.jpgMIAMI – The first Haitian American to serve as a chief of staff for a Miami-Dade county commissioner has resigned to take on a new international venture.

Marc J. Mathieu ended his tenure with Commissioner Jean Monestime last weekend.

“It is with a heavy heart that I bid farewell to my long-time strategic advisor and former chief of staff, Marc Mathieu,” Monestime said Monday morning.

"Marc has been with me since 2005 in my various campaigns for office, serving as a canvasser, precinct captain, get-out-the-vote coordinator and, most recently, chief strategist,” Monestime said.

Last Nov. 17, following his historic victory and inauguration as the first Haitian American elected to the county commission, Monestime tapped him  as chief of staff.

“It was an honor to be appointed by Commissioner Monestime as not only his chief of staff but also the first Haitian-American chief of staff in Miami-Dade County,” Mathieu said in a statement announcing his resignation.

During his tenure with Monestime, Mathieu focused primarily on constituent services and staff development, the statement said.

He instituted a six-day work week, during which he occasionally met with constituents unable to meet with staff during the regular five-day work week.

In an effort to help staff serve constituents more effectively, he started weekly in-house training conducted by county department directors.

In all, Mathieu spent 10 years with the county, mostly with the Department of Human Services. He also spent four months working in the office of then Assistant County Manager Alina Hudak and six months in the United Way of Miami-Dade's Loaned Executive program.  “The county has been very good to me” Mathieu said.  “It employed me during a recession in 2001, helped me earn my advanced degree and, most importantly, introduced me to colleagues who have become lifelong friends.”

Mathieu will now work overseas, focusing on sustainable agriculture but the statement did not give details and he could not be reached for comment.

“I want to do something few want to do or think can be done,” he said in the statement. “"The time to do it is now while I'm still young, foolish and free.” Monestime had appointed him to the county’s International Trade Advisory Board.

“Commissioner Monestime and I are long time friends and I will continue to offer advice, solicited or not, and, in a few years, if he chooses to continue in public service, I will answer the call as I have done his prior three campaigns,” Mathiew said.


HISTORY-MAKING DUO: Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jean Monestime, left, and his chief of staff, Marc Mathieu, during a recent Earth Day cleanup.