René Garcia Préval (French pronunciation: ; born January 17, 1943) is a Haitian politician and agronomist who was the President of the Republic of Haiti from 14 May 2006 to 14 May 2011. He previously served as President from February 7, 1996, to February 7, 2001, and as Prime Minister from February 1991 to October 11, 1991.
Préval was born in Marmelade, Northern Haiti. He studied Business at the College of Gembloux and the University of Leuven in Belgium and also studied Biology at the University of Pisa in Pisa, Italy.
Préval's father, an agronomist also, had risen to the position of Minister of Agriculture in the government of Général Paul Magloire, the predecessor of Duvalier. Leaving Haiti because his political past presented him as a potential opponent, Preval's father found work with UN agencies in Africa.