Haiti-Born Boston Tech Specialist Joins Board of Directors

Media Contact: Jeremy Jacobs, [email protected], (858) 531-3362 

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — ShelterBox USA, a global disaster relief organization, announced today that Emanus Simeon, a veteran Massachusetts-based software engineer who has made service to his home country of Haiti part of his life’s mission, has joined its Board of Directors. 

ShelterBox has provided humanitarian shelter and other essential items to the most vulnerable forced from their homes by disaster and conflict for more than 20 years, including to earthquakes in Haiti that devastated millions of homes and killed thousands.  

“We are thrilled to have Emanus joining our board,” said ShelterBox USA President Kerri Murray. “Emanus has an awe-inspiring story and love of his homeland, Haiti, where we’ve responded multiple times. We look forward to working with Emanus, and tapping into his expertise as we constantly strive to improve our programs, more efficiently and effectively deliver aid, and reach more people.” 

Photo courtesy of Emanus Simeon


Emanus, who lives in South Easton, was immediately drawn to ShelterBox’s mission of no family without shelter following a disaster or in conflict. 

“When I learned about ShelterBox, it was kind of amazing to see the concept. It is ingeniously simple. Everyone needs shelter. It is something we take for granted,” Emanus said. “These disasters often strike the family naked, and ShelterBox provides that first layer of cover.” 

Emanus’ volunteer work to help Haiti is rooted in philanthropy that saved his life.  

Emanus was born in a remote town in Haiti called Verrettes. Shortly after arriving home, he was rushed to the Hospital Albert Schweitzer where he was treated for an acute asthma attack – saving his life. That hospital founded by Larry and Gwen Grant Mellon, Arizona cattle ranchers who had read of Dr. Albert Schweitzer missionary work in Africa, became doctors under his mentorship and went on to open the hospital in Haiti in 1956. 

Emanus lived in Haiti until he was 12, then his family joined his father, who had immigrated to the Boston area. Emanus finished his education by earning a master’s degree in Computer Science at Brandeis University.  He’s gone to work for multiple companies, including PTC in multiple Massachusetts offices, specializing in development operations, or DevOps, which integrates formerly siloed parts of a business so they can work together seamlessly.  

Throughout his career, Emanus has given back to his communities in Massachusetts and Haiti. He’s an adjunct professor at the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology in Boston, which he graduated from in 1993, and that teaches predominantly underserved communities. Nearly three quarters of its students are people of color, and more than half are first generation college students.  

When I learned about ShelterBox, it was kind of amazing to see the concept. It is ingeniously simple. Everyone needs shelter. It is something we take for granted.”

He has been equally dedicated to Haiti. In the past 15 years, Emanus had been active in several nonprofit organizations. He was a board member of IFSI-USA, an organization that helps new immigrants and FAMILY, an organization that was started by Dr. Harold May, a former member of the Tuskegee Airmen program. Emanus also served on the steering committee for the Haiti Development Institute, or HDI, a five-year fund established at the Boston Foundation to respond to Haiti’s 2010 earthquake.   

And for a dozen years, he has indulged his passion for STEM education as a member of the Haiti-based Forum for Education and Development of Haiti, or FEDUDEV, which focuses on scientific education. Every year, he helps organize the Haiti FIRST Lego League Championship in Haiti, with the winning team traveling to the US to represent Haiti in the World FIRST Robotics Championship Competition.  

It was through this work that Emanus came to realize that many in Haiti frequently need help with essential items like shelter, water carriers and filters, thermal blankets, solar lights and other items that ShelterBox provides.  

“Haiti is always suffering from one crisis or another,” Emanus said. “When I visit here, I will give an elaborate presentation on robotics and IoT, and every so often some kids would ask how does it relate to the challenges they are now facing? A lot of people are struggling with just basic needs.” 

ShelterBox is currently responding to the crisis in Ukraine, setting up multiple relief programs both inside and outside the country, to help the more than 7 million refugees who have fled Ukraine, and the millions who remain internally displaced within the country. It is providing thousands of mattresses to collective centers in the Western part of the country, kits that includes tools, tarps, rope and thermal blankets to those trying to shelter in damaged homes, and hygiene items and cash to refugees who have fled into Moldova, one of Europe’s poorest countries.  

Since its founding in 2000, ShelterBox has provided aid to more than 2 million people, responding to more than 300 disasters and conflicts in nearly 100 countries. ShelterBox currently has programs in conflict areas like Syria and Ethiopia, and recently launched a new effort in Yemen, home of what the United Nations has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. ShelterBox also launched its largest disaster response to date in the Philippines after Typhoon Rai last December. 

“Home is not only where you hang your hat, but it is where memories are a made, family members are cared for, and lives enfold,” Emanus said. “ShelterBox’s rapid response go well beyond the physical need. I am hoping to add another dimension by leveraging Virtual and Augmented reality to bridge the gap between our donors and the impacted regions and deployment sites around the world.”  

  • More photos available. 
  • Kerri and Emanus are available for interviews.  


Holly Rickett, an emergency response legal expert and county attorney, has joined ShelterBox’s Board of Directors.


Dr. Richard Columbia, an international development expert with over 40 years of experience, has joined the Board of Directors at ShelterBox USA.


Noaman Sharief has joined the Board of Directors at ShelterBox USA in the role of Treasurer.