Career opportunities

There are dozens of ways to join the cause. Among them is joining our team of passionate people.

We are an equal opportunity employer, dedicated to diversity, equity, inclusion and justice in the workplace. Applicants living with HIV or from communities disproportionately affected by HIV are strongly encouraged to apply.

Position Summary

AIDS United seeks a mission-driven, hands-on vice president and chief operating officer. Reporting to the president and CEO, the chief operating officer is responsible for the organization’s financial and business operations, providing strategic leadership for achieving organizational goals, directly supervising multi-departmental staff, and providing day-to-day oversight and management of business protocols and standards. They will develop, implement, and communicate effective operational strategies and processes of the organization’s administrative and support services. This search is intended to replace its prior, effective COO, who recently departed the organization after five successful years with AIDS United.

The COO is a dynamic and trusted leader who can build and execute thoughtful and ambitious strategies while ensuring operational excellence. They will have exceptional interpersonal and people management skills, with the ability to build and manage high-performing, cohesive teams. The COO will be a results-oriented motivator with high standards for excellence. They will be a clear, consistent and empathetic communicator, someone who excels at relationship building, constantly innovating and is dependably pragmatic, has entrepreneurial instincts and naturally absorbs new information. The COO is someone who thrives in a collaborative and fast-paced environment, and who is driven by excellence and accountability. The COO is responsible for establishing credibility throughout the organization and, in conjunction with the CEO and board, is an effective developer of solutions for business challenges and opportunities.

The COO must have a commitment to achieving health equity, ending the HIV epidemic and working with the diversity of staff, stakeholders and communities impacted by HIV

Essential Job Functions

The COO position requires demonstrated entrepreneurial ability to develop alliances and coordinate the shared interests of all parties, with excellent communications and problem-solving skills designed to meet the challenges of a fast-paced environment. A track record of successful change management, process improvement, and organizational performance improvement is essential for success in this role.

The candidate must have comprehensive experience in and advanced knowledge of:

  • Nonprofit finance and accounting operations.
  • Organizational and project budget development, monitoring and reporting.
  • Federal grants administration, financing and compliance.
  • Contract development, management and negotiations.
  • Human resources.
  • Employee benefits.
  • Organizational development.
  • Infrastructure management.

The successful candidate will also have significant experience with:

  • Managing a board of trustees and corporate governance.
  • Strategic planning.
  • Organizational development and culture building.

Significant oversight and supervisory responsibilities include:

  • Financial reporting, accounting and investments.
  • Organizational and program budget development and monitoring.
  • Financial audits and Forms 990.
  • Adherence to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and local, state and federal regulations.
  • Contract and grants management and compliance.
  • Human resource policies and procedures.
  • Communications strategies and media relations.
  • Development and fundraising.

Major direct responsibilities include:

  • Primary interface with the board treasurer and the finance, investment and audit committees; and provide support to the board of trustees.
  • Adherence to federal, state and local employment laws.
  • Administration of employee benefits.
  • Risk management and corporate insurance.
  • Vendor and consultant management.
  • Administration and monitoring of conflicts of interest policies.
  • Implementation of information technology and cybersecurity policies.
  • Facilities and lease management.
  • Support continual evolution of organizational culture.
  • Guide organizational practices for diversity, equity and inclusion; workplace safety; and conflict resolution.
  • Serve as a key advisor to the CEO. 


Education and experience requirements

The ideal candidate will possess a master’s degree in business or a related field and/or have at least ten years of 501(c)(3) operational experience at the director level or, preferably, the executive level.

  • Experience in the HIV sector, the LGBTQ+ and/or social justice sector.
  • Knowledge of the HIV space, including the community; policy, laws, and rights; understanding of the biomedical and social justice environment as they relate to HIV.
  • Keen understanding and personal champion of diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Experience working with individuals with various lived experiences is essential.

Skills and competencies

  • High emotional intelligence; able to understand the needs and concerns of partners and colleagues.
  • Comfortable with change; flexible and agile in a constantly transforming environment.
  • Strong attention to detail with an analytical mind and superb problem-solving skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, exceptional communication and presentation skills (both written and spoken), supervisory, and decision-making skills; good judgment.
  • Highly organized with excellent time and project management skills.
  • Resourceful, proactive, self-motivated with a strong sense of ownership and accountability.
  • Possess the following personal attributes: trustworthy, strategic, organized, results-driven, self-starter, inclusive, transparent and collaborative.
  • Ability to thrive in a results-oriented, deadline-driven environment with the capacity to make decisions and anticipate future needs in a changing landscape.
  • Proven success within a highly flexible and visible entrepreneurial culture; comfort working under tight timelines in a fast-paced environment.
  • A collaborative approach to work and a demonstrated capacity to “play well with others,” including colleagues in other departments.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and exceptional communication and presentation skills, both written and spoken, with an ability to inform, influence, convince and persuade.
  • Ability to navigate a wide variety of stakeholders and juggle competing priorities and interests to move the work forward.
  • Strong nonprofit finance experience.
  • Strategic thinker and planner.
  • Ability to effectively and meaningfully connect with and engage colleagues virtually.
  • Task- and outcome-oriented.
  • Highly organized.

Reporting Relationships

The vice president and chief operating officer reports directly to the AIDS United president and CEO and has the following supervisory relationships:

  • Controller/Director of Finance
    • Senior Accountant
    • Grants + Compliance
  • Director of Communication
    • Senior Communication Manager
    • Program Communication Associate
  • Acting Operations Administrator
  • Consulting or outsourcing firms that are currently managed:
    • Human Resources
      • Health and personnel benefits
      • Retirement plan
    • Information technology
    • Legal
    • Audit and investment management
    • Fundraising, grant writing and business development

*Bold indicates direct report

Leadership and key colleagues
(Please do not contact the organization or its leaders directly)

Jesse Milan Jr., J.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer

Jesse Milan Jr., JD, is a tireless community advocate and recognized national and international expert on HIV/AIDS policies and programs.

Milan joined AIDS United in 2016 as interim CEO and later that year was appointed by the board of trustees to the position of President + CEO. Milan brings over 30 years in executive roles in public and private sectors, including government, not-for-profit, academic, and faith organizations. During his long career, Milan has directed multi-million-dollar budgets and programs for federal, state, local, and global health agencies.

Milan’s exceptional public service record includes serving on the Scientific Advisory Board for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), on the Infectious Disease Board of the American Board of Internal Medicine, and on the board of AVAC (AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition). He is an officer of the board of directors of Funders Concerned About AIDS (FCAA) and serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.

A lawyer and trusted advisor, Milan chaired for five years the CDC/HRSA Advisory Committee on HIV and STD Prevention and Treatment. He is past chair of the board of the Black AIDS Institute, past board president of ActionAIDS (now Action Wellness), and past president of the National Episcopal AIDS Coalition. In 2007 he was designated a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Global HIV/AIDS.

Jesse has addressed millions on television and radio and given hundreds of keynote addresses and presentations at national, regional, and global conferences and events. An inspiring speaker, he has conducted three speaking tours as an American expert on HIV to seven African nations on behalf of the U.S. State Department. In 2020, he delivered the opening address to the American Medical Students Association conference and the closing address for HRSA for the 30th anniversary of the Ryan White Program.

Milan is a former AIDS Director for the City of Philadelphia, was a Deputy City Solicitor for Philadelphia, and served six years as chief of staff to the president of Temple University. He has worked as a leadership and executive coach with the Dorrier Underwood firm and as a public health consultant for federal contractor firms and agencies. He has co-authored peer-reviewed articles and published numerous op-ed pieces. He is a graduate of Princeton University and the NYU School of Law.

Jesse has received numerous honors, including the Public Service Award in 2015 from the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC) and the 2022 Alexander Forger Award for HIV Advocacy from the American Bar Association. In 2020, Milan received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Virginia Theological Seminary for his years of service to faith and HIV communities. He has been listed among exceptional HIV leaders by POZ and HIV Plus magazines and received an award from HRSA for “leading the national and international fight against HIV disease.”

Milan has been living with HIV for nearly four decades. He and his husband, Bill, celebrate over 30 years of commitment.

“Fighting HIV has been my life’s work, and doing it every day with the dedicated team at AIDS United is a privilege.”

Athena Cross
Vice President and Chief Program Officer

Athena Cross is a health care leader with more than 15 years’ experience leading market access initiatives, insurance contracting, health care reimbursement, public policy, and health care strategy in the public and private sectors. She specializes in improving the public health care delivery system and has also led several initiatives and developed numerous strategies to improve and increase access to reproductive health and women’s health services. 

In 2016, Cross created Cross Health Care Solutions (CrossHCS), a consulting firm that focuses on addressing inequities in health. CrossHCS works with nonprofits, state and local governments, foundations, and community-based organizations to align strategies for social change. Leveraging multiple funding opportunities, CrossHCS works on the local, state, and national levels to build community-led initiatives that reduce health disparities. CrossHCS’s work includes public-private partnerships, city, and statewide initiatives, policy, and advocacy strategies.

Cross has worked in the pharmaceutical space, leading the U.S. commercialization of a new product. In health care delivery, creating national operations strategies to accommodate the vast policy and reimbursement challenges associated with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. And in the health insurance industry, leading pharmacy, provider networks, and various citywide collaborative projects. Before these experiences, Cross worked in business development and pharmaceutical sales.

Cross is a public health doctoral candidate at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and is a social justice warrior, aligning her work with her commitment to addressing inequities in health for marginalized people.

Carl Baloney, J.D.
Vice President and Chief Advocacy Officer

A longtime advocate for vulnerable populations. Carl has focused his 15 years in policy and advocacy on developing and implementing innovative policy solutions that benefit disenfranchised communities across the country, with a particular focus on the rural south.

Carl has excelled at the highest levels of his chosen fields and has continued to support grass-roots advocacy and political engagement by taking leave to aid several political and advocacy campaigns across the country, developing volunteer recruitment programs, and Get Out The Vote efforts.

During his tenure at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, his leadership forged the path to winning the first major expansion of comprehensive women’s health access in a decade through the expansion of women’s healthcare coverage. His tenure as a policy staffer in the U.S. (United States) House of Representatives has afforded Carl deep relationships with policymakers and an in-depth understanding of the legislative process.

As a Board Member for both the National AIDS Housing Coalition and Planned Parenthood Advocates of V.A., MD, DC, Carl has expanded his ability to lead through collaboration. Now with AIDS United, Carl leads the organization’s federal HIV advocacy in partnership with 50+ HIV member organizations through 35 key issue areas ranging from access to care, harm reduction, sex workers’ rights, racial justice, and housing.

Compensation + Benefits

The salary range for this position begins at $180,000.

A competitive benefits package is provided, including:

  • Annual and wellness leave accruals
    • PTO: accrual of 15 days per year
    • Safe and Sick: accrual of 12 days per year
  • Paid designated holidays (currently 11 + one week off for Winter Holiday at the end of December)
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Safe and sick leave
  • Employer-sponsored 403(b)(7) retirement plan
  • Flexible spending plan
  • AD+D
  • STD
  • Workers Compensation
  • Employee Assistance Program

As a reflection of our firm’s commitment to equity and equal pay for all, Cooper Coleman requires that salary ranges or salary starting points be published for every search we conduct. The practice of not posting salaries perpetuates the gender and racial wage gap and discriminates against women, people of color, and other historically excluded populations by causing individuals to negotiate from a disadvantaged starting point.


The COO may work remotely as AIDS United is a primarily virtual organization but should be located within reasonable access to AIDS United headquarters in Washington, D.C., to oversee organizational infrastructure and lead onsite activities and facilities management as necessary. Candidates from beyond the District of Columbia-Maryland-Virginia (DMV) region will be considered, provided they are within a half-day travel time to Washington, D.C.

EEO and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

AIDS United is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against otherwise qualified applicants on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information, HIV status, or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively “Protected Bases”).

Background Checks

Before sending your resume for this position, please read it over for accuracy. Cooper Coleman verifies its candidates’ employment and academic credentials at the time of offer, and our clients frequently conduct background checks before finalizing an offer.

Submission Instructions
(read carefully)

Cooper Coleman is leading this search on behalf of AIDS United. To apply, click here ( and complete the application. All inquiries will be held in confidence.

A cover letter is not required with your initial application but is welcomed to help us understand your fitness for this role during our initial evaluation. Candidates invited for interviews will be asked to provide a thoughtful letter of interest indicating their specific qualifications for the opportunity, desire to join AIDS United, and connection to its mission.


Whistleblower Policy

A whistleblower as defined by this policy is an employee of AIDS United who reports an activity that he/she/they considers to be illegal or dishonest to one or more of the parties specified in this policy. The whistleblower is not responsible for investigating the activity or for determining fault or corrective measures; appropriate management officials are charged with these responsibilities.

Examples of illegal or dishonest activities are violations of federal, state or local laws; billing for services not performed or for goods not delivered; and other fraudulent financial reporting.

If an employee has knowledge of or a concern of illegal or dishonest fraudulent activity, the employee is to contact his/her immediate supervisor or the Vice President of Operations. The employee must exercise sound judgment to avoid baseless allegations. An employee who intentionally files a false report of wrongdoing will be subject to discipline up to and including termination.

Whistleblower protections are provided in two important areas — confidentiality and against retaliation. Insofar as possible, the confidentiality of the whistleblower will be maintained. However, identity may have to be disclosed to conduct a thorough investigation, to comply with the law and to provide accused individuals their legal rights of defense. The Organization will not retaliate against a whistleblower. This includes, but is not limited to, protection from retaliation in the form of an adverse employment action such as termination, compensation decreases, or poor work assignments and threats of physical harm. Any whistleblower who believes he/she/they is being retaliated against must contact the Vice President of Operations immediately. The right of a whistleblower for protection against retaliation does not include immunity for any personal wrongdoing that is alleged and investigated.

Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) Compliance: “Immunity from Liability for Confidential Disclosure of a Trade Secret to the Government or in a Court Filing:

(1) Immunity—An individual shall not be held criminally or civilly liable under any federal or state trade secret law for the disclosure of a trade secret that—(A) is made—(i) in confidence to a federal, state or local government official, either directly or indirectly, or to an attorney; and (ii) solely for the purpose of reporting or investigating a suspected violation of law; or (B) is made in a complaint or other document filed in a lawsuit or other proceeding, if such filing is made under seal.

(2) Use of Trade Secret Information in Anti-Retaliation Lawsuit—An individual who files a lawsuit for retaliation by an employer for reporting a suspected violation of law may disclose the trade secret to the attorney of the individual and use the trade secret information in the court proceeding, if the individual—(A) files any document containing the trade secret under seal; and (B) does not disclose the trade secret, except pursuant to court order.”

All reports of illegal and dishonest activities will be promptly submitted to John Roane Jr., the Vice President of Operations, who is responsible for investigating and coordinating corrective action.  However, if the intended report involves the Vice President of Operations, the matter should be reported to Jesse Milan Jr., the CEO.  If the report involves the Vice President of Operations and the CEO, contact should be made to Dr. Robert Hilliard Jr., the Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Employees with any questions regarding this policy should contact the Vice President of Operations.