Home / About Us

CRN Mission

The Caribbean Returning Nationals Foundation, Inc. (CRN) is a non-profit organization established to engage Caribbean expatriates and their families in the United States with the community back in their home country. Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Maryland, United States, CRN was created to inspire the Caribbean community living abroad to reinvest in and contribute to the land they love through community outreach programs, local investment opportunities, and other methods of philanthropy. Acting as a think tank, business network, talent and mentoring resource, CRN initiates dialogue to unite and mobilize its membership through social and professional networking events globally.


CRN also seek to create partnerships around the world with persons interested in generating a better aligned region with a specific focus on investments.  In addition, CRN provides support to each member transitioning to the Caribbean after living abroad for an extended period of time.



 gis web 12

(1) Inspire the Caribbean community living abroad to reinvest in and contribute to the land they love through community outreach programs, local investment opportunities, and other methods of philanthropy. We realize that several Caribbean territories have IPAs (Investment Promotion Agencies) to attract large scale investors. Our organization focuses on the small to medium scale investor.

We believe that everyone has something to contribute and we are providing a vehicle for those contributions to be channeled back to the Caribbean.

(2) Raise awareness among regional governments of the concerns and needs of returning nationals.

(3) Create a network for returning nationals to bring together people who share an interest in the same sector.  These events will be the catalyst for a host of other programs as the organization’s impact continues to grow.

(4) Partner with CRN network and others who have specific industry skill sets to pursue regional and global projects.

(5) Partner with international and local humanitarian agencies to provide assistance to communities in the Caribbean. Our goal is to empower each community by donating tutorial services, clothes, educational supplies, toiletries and other essential items which CRN receives from its members and sponsors.

CRN will be the main point of contact for all community outreach activities from the diaspora and international community to ensure the delivery and smooth transition of all items donated.



  • ufcsa#41YOUTH EMPOWERMENT – Helps Caribbean young people achieve their career goals by creating opportunities for them to compete on the world stage.


  • TALENT AND EXPERTISE SOURCINGProvides a Trusted Gateway to the Caribbean region by identifying needs and providing the expertise to fulfill those challenges.
  • fotolia_77993524

  • CRN officeINVESTMENT RESOURCE CENTER – Provide resources and support to the Caribbean diaspora for the physical and virtual re-insertion of returning nationals into their home communities.
  • fotolia_77993524


Leadership Team

ARLENE GRAHAM, Executive Director

Giving back have never been a problem for Founder and Executive Director of Caribbean Returning Nationals Foundation, Inc. (CRN), Arlene Graham. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Arlene believes that one of the ways we can all make a positive difference is to give back to the communities and people who nurtured and made us the productive citizens we are today. Her goal, with the help of the Caribbean and international community, CRN members, partners and sponsors, is to assist to reverse the brain drain of the Caribbean region.

Arlene is also the President of Global Idea Synergy (GIS), LLC a US and Caribbean based consulting and management firm that provides advisory and project management services to sectors that are in high demand globally.

Ms. Graham enjoys interior design and mentors and speaks internationally to young people on the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and the importance of building individual brands.


PIERRE HINES, Economic Development Specialist

Pierre Hines was born in the United States and is of Jamaican heritage. He is a business lawyer based in the Washington, D.C. office of global law firm Jones Day, and he has previously interned at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and for a federal judge. Prior to attending law school, Pierre served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, where he led an intelligence section of a Brigade Combat Team and worked as assistant capability manager of an intelligence IT program. Pierre received his B.S. from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. He enjoys sports and watching stand-up comedy.



Curtis McNish is a Sr. Sub-grant Administrator at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, (NDI) and is currently assigned to the Latin America, Caribbean and Asian regions. Before joining NDI, he worked as a Controller and managed humanitarian programs and disaster relief operations worldwide.

With a career spanning more than 15 years in the nonprofit industry, Curtis currently oversees a portfolio of over 40 international sub-recipients with grants totaling over $10 million. He travels to international destinations providing training to groups on financial accountability for federal grants. Curtis has visited and met with senior officials of major civil society organizations in Romania, Poland, Iraq, Pakistan, Nigeria, Kenya, Angola, Guatemala, Colombia and Haiti to name a few. Curtis is also currently the Chief Executive Director of the Institute for Development and Democracy a soon-to-be, nongovernmental organization incorporated in Trinidad and Tobago and Fabio Hair Designs a hair cosmetic trader also in Trinidad and Tobago.


SHEDISHA ABENA MATTHIAS, Students for Students Initiative (SFSI)

Shedisha Abena Matthias, hails from Jamaica but was raised in New York City. Her formative years were spent in a high school that cultivated her love of international finance and economics. She attended Carnegie Mellon University and majored in economics before joining IBM Public Sector Consulting Practice. She took a two year hiatus from consulting to serve as foreign expert for the Shenzhen Education Bureau; where she taught English at Shenzhen Normal University Middle School in China.

After several years abroad, Shedisha returned to the states and earned her Master’s in International Policy at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, while honing her skills in trade, entrepreneurship and management. She would later go on to work briefly as a knowledge management consultant at a San Francisco-based international organization focused on social entrepreneurship in emerging markets. Shedisha can now be found working in the nation’s capital at well-respected consulting firm bringing innovative technology solutions to government agencies.


sherwyn new 8Sherwyn Williams, PhD, Compliance Officer

Dr. Sherwyn Williams, a national of Guyana and recently retired IMF economist, combines unique statistical knowledge and economics in over two decades of IMF experience, focusing on economic development issues within a developing country context. He has extensive experience working in balance of payments statistics, macro-monetary policy, debt sustainability and reserve adequacy, exchange rate and external competitiveness, and poverty related issues in developing countries. Dr. Williams has extensive Fund experience in every region, with particular focus on the Middle East. He has contributed to analytical work in all aspects of the Fund’s financial policies, including assessment of financial risk to the Fund’s operations, and policy on access to the Fund’s resources. In addition to economic statistics and economic and financial policies, Dr. Williams has also worked in areas relating to IMF governance, including quota distribution. He has compiled country data used for calculations relating to Fund governance issues, and has acquired quite a widespread knowledge of global economic statistics.


IESHA TOWNSEND, Students for Students Initiative (SFSI) Sr. Coordinator

Iesha Townsend was born and raised in Connecticut with very strong family ties to Jamaica. She holds a BA in Psychology and Government from Smith College and eventually obtained her MSc in Politics of Conflict, Rights, and Justice from School of Oriental African Studies, University of London. After completing her studies, Iesha established a social enterprise that provided workshops for young ethnic minority girls in the London boroughs of Newham and Lambeth to raise their consciousness in socio-political affairs. During her time in London, England, Iesha has worked for several international non-profit organizations on minority rights advocacy projects. Currently, she works within the educational sector providing support to ethnic minority communities.




Gabriel Martino was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago. After high school, where he was recognized as an island scholar for excelling in CXC’s, Cape and A ‘Levels he moved to Washington, DC to further his studies at Howard University.

At Howard University he gained his Bachelor’s in Finance, then moved to Canada and earned his Masters of Finance degree from the Schulich School of Business at York University. His professional experiences include working for international financial institutions such as Manulife Financial in Toronto and Goldman Sachs in New York with a focus on investment banking, project finance, private placements and treasury. After several years abroad, Gabriel returned to his homeland started his own consulting firm and worked with the Ministry of Finance and the Economy as an Associate Debt Professional in their Economic Management Unit.

He is now an Investment and Corporate Banking Manager for a reputable regional financial institution. He is highly motivated, driven and entrepreneurial.



Bio coming soon!






We have many Advisors throughout the global community.  We thank them for their support as we work together to be change agents for the Caribbean Region.



The idea of the Caribbean Returning Nationals Foundation, Inc. came after the Founder Arlene Graham returned from the Caribbean to the United States after spending time with her father prior to his passing. She visited government offices in hopes of taking care of family affairs and was given incorrect information repeatedly, she literally was going around like a dog chasing its tail. In the midst of her frustration, she thought that this process was difficult for anyone who was not accustomed to navigating the system.  From this experience CRNF was born.

The original thought was to focus on Trinidad and Tobago while establishing a Returning Nationals Society. However, as a result of feedback from focus groups and brainstorming sessions, it became clear that the issues were not unique to Trinidad and Tobago and it seemed best to expand the organization to encompass the wider Caribbean.

What the region is missing is a trusted gateway to engage with the Caribbean; a dynamic network that encourages those in the Caribbean Diaspora to re-invest in their home communities, and transition support for those who are returning to their respective home countries.

We’re sitting on the proverbial goldmine.

CRN aims to fill that gap by being connectors to the opportunities and skills people living in the Diaspora possess.

Our ultimate goal is to provide support for the successful re-insertion of returning nationals (physical and virtual) into their home communities in new, productive and creative ways. All of us at home and abroad will be the beneficiaries of this process.




Question Mark Globe


Q.  What is meant by “Returning Nationals?”

A: Anyone with Caribbean ancestry who shares their financial resources, talents and/or intellectual knowledge with the Caribbean region is considered a “Returning National.”  There is no requirement to be physically present in the region; the emphasis is on giving back resources – time, energy, funds, commitment… – to the Caribbean.

Q:  Who is our target audience?

A:  We target returning nationals from the Caribbean, who may or may not have been born there. Individuals with Caribbean family members are also welcome.

Q:  How can I contribute or become a sponsor?

A:   To contribute click the Donate button on the Home Page of this website, complete the Join Us form on the Home Page of this website, or send an email to info@caribbeanreturningnationals.org.  To become a sponsor, complete the Join Us form on the Home Page of this website or send a confidential email to info@caribbeanreturningnationals.org to get details.

Q:  I would like to advertise on this site…what do I do?

A:  Thank you for choosing CRN’s website to advertise your business or job opportunity. Please note that all government, corporations, small business and individuals will be charged a nominal advertising fee. Please e-mail your request at info@caribbeanreturningnationals.org to receive details.

Q:  How do I join CRN network? You do not have to join CRN to make a contribution.

A:   Complete the Join Us form on the Home Page of this website or send an email to  info@caribbeanreturningnationals.org. We will provide you with additional details once this information is received. CRN WILL NEVER SHARE YOUR INFORMATION WITH ANY THIRD PARTY… ALL DATA IS TREATED AS CONFIDENTIAL.

Q: What is your network fee?

A. There is no network fee.  We are a non-profit organization so donations are excepted.

Q:  How will I know about upcoming events? 

A:  All events will be posted on our website http://www.caribbeanreturningnationals.org and LinkedIn Group. All members will receive personal invitations from CRN.

Q:  How would I know and how can I participate in a brain-storming session?

A:  Periodically we will be hosting online and terrestrial brain-storming sessions. When they are planned we will give you two weeks lead time to join via email.  All emails will be sent once you agree through registration to receive periodic updates from CRN.

Q:   How can I be informed about humanitarian agencies in the Caribbean?

A:  Send an e-mail to info@caribbeanreturningnationals.org and a member of our team will contact you as soon as possible (please give 48 to 72 hours for response).

Q:  How do I recommend an interested NGO to CRN for interaction in the Caribbean? 

A:  Send an e-mail to info@caribbeanreturningnationals.org and a member of our team will contact you as soon as possible (please give 48 to 72 hours for response).

Q:  Do I have to be from the Caribbean region to join CRN network?

A:. Anyone can join the Foundation. See website home page to join.

Q:  Do I have to join CRN to make a contribution?

A:  No, you do not have to join CRN to make a difference.

Q:  Where do I mail a financial donation?

A:  Send checks or money orders payable to Caribbean Returning Nationals Foundation, Inc. to :

Caribbean Returning Nationals Foundation, Inc.
9103 Woodmore Centre Drive, #304
Lanham, Maryland 20706

Q: Where do I deliver items to be donated?

A: Send an email to info@caribbeanreturningnationals.org and you will be contacted to make arrangements.

Q:  Where do I wire funds for a CRN program?

A:  Send an email to info@caribbeanreturningnationals.org and you will be contacted to make arrangements.


Contact Us: 

Caribbean Returning Nationals Foundation, Inc.
9103 Woodmore Centre Drive, #304
Lanham, Maryland 20706 USA
Email:  info@caribbeanreturningnationals.org
Phone: USA1-301-256-7908 / Caribbean 1-868-304-3452
Website: www.caribbeanreturningnationals.org


  • 20 days ago   /   Replylic aao exam tips

    It is perfect time to mak somme plans for the future and it is time to be happy.
    I’ve read this post and if I ould I desire too suggest you
    some intteresting things or suggestions. Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article.

    I want to read more things abbout it!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *