Our team & board
We exist to amplify the voices of people living with and vulnerable to HIV until their needs and experiences are embedded in our national consciousness.
Meet the people turning this vision into reality.
We exist to amplify the voices of people living with and vulnerable to HIV until their needs and experiences are embedded in our national consciousness.
Meet the people turning this vision into reality.
Jesse Milan Jr., JD
President & CEO
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 in 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 record of public service includes serving currently 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 former AIDS Director for the City of Philadelphia, was a Deputy City Solicitor for Philadelphia, and served six years a 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 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 2020 Alexander Forger Award for HIV Advocacy from the American Bar Association. Milan received in 2020 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 have celebrated over 30 years of commitment.
“Fighting HIV has been my life’s work and doing it every day with the dedicated team at AIDS is a privilege.”
Carl Baloney Jr.
Vice President & Chief Advocacy Officer
A longtime advocate for vulnerable populations, Carl Baloney has focused his career on developing innovative policy solutions that benefit disenfranchised communities across the country, with a particular focus on the rural south.
Before joining the staff of then U.S. Rep. Charlie Melancon, (D-LA) where he worked through the 111th Congress, Carl began his career working on numerous state and federal candidate and issue-specific campaigns.
Later, Carl served as senior legislative assistant to Rep. Melancon. In this role, Carl advanced policy related to Agriculture and Fisheries, Social Security, the Federal Budget, Appropriations, and a host of other issue areas. Most recently, Carl served as a senior member of Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s legislative affairs team, where he worked to advance the reproductive health and rights of women and families in the United States.
Over the course of his career, Carl 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. Carl attended the University of Richmond where he studied Political Science and International Relations.
Carl brings enthusiasm and over eight years of federal legislative policy and political experience to AIDS United.
“From the implementation of the ACA, to Treatment as Prevention, to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)—We have so many great tools to treat and prevent HIV,” said Baloney. “I’m excited to further policy that brings these new advances to people who stand to benefit the most.”
John E. Roane Jr.
Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
John E. Roane Jr. brings years of management expertise, including 17 years of nonprofit executive experience. He comes to AIDS United after serving four years as the chief operating officer of the Association of American Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, where he led the execution of a strategic plan, aligned divisional operations, and secured association functionality to drive expansion and sustainable growth.
John launched his career at the Children’s Fund in Richmond, Virginia, where he began his specialization in non-profit management, enterprise system development and implementation, and staff development. This experience led to an officer role with SunTrust Bank, having the responsibility of transferring traditional banking services to electronic delivering platforms.
After relocating to Washington, DC, John joined the staff of Councilmember Jack Evans and where he oversaw operations for the council office and mayoral campaign. John transitioned to the DC association community and served 17 years at the executive level, most of which as a Chief Operating Officer, for three associations: Association of American Medical Colleges, Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine.
John has extensive volunteer experience and has served on three boards: Fan Free Health Clinic in Richmond, VA, and FAR (Financial and Administrators Roundtable) and Us Helping Us, People Into Living in DC. He also volunteers with Food and Friends and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
“I sincerely wanted to leverage my nonprofit expertise to an organization and mission that I could enthusiastically embrace, now more than ever,” said Roane. “AIDS United fits this goal and I’m thrilled to be part of this organization and family.”
Nora Darling (she/they) serves as the policy and annual conference manager at AIDS United, supporting the development of research-based federal policy recommendations at the intersections of HIV, sexual and reproductive health and wellness, queer and trans health, and birth- and abortion care, with a specific focus on the material conditions of the folks impacted by such policy.
Hailing from Georgia, they also care deeply about health, wellness, and civic empowerment of the varied and diverse communities of the Deep South.
They are grateful for the opportunity to (un)learn every day here at AU.
Director of Health Policy and Research
Merilyn serves as AIDS United’s director of health policy and research. Merilyn’s passion is to get health care right for all. To AIDS United, she brings not only an extensive knowledge of federal and state policies, but an understanding of how front-line practices, especially under-resourced clinical practices, are impacted by differing policies and quality-reporting programs.
As project director for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative at the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative, she gained an important perspective on how active partnerships between consumers and clinicians, as well as community organizations, can be effective for revamping “business as usual” to reduce or eliminate inequities in access, costs and quality of care across populations.
She has also served as a principle in the MITRE Corporation’s Center for Transforming Health, vice president of the National Quality Forum, and director of quality management and health services research at the American Association of Health Plans (now known as AHIP).
Together, her experience gives her a multifaceted view of how health policies impact stakeholders in health care — patients and families, and health care providers including health plans, payers and employers.
Outside of work, Merilyn enjoys writing, listening to jazz, going to the theater for plays and dance. She also loves trying new restaurants.
Drew Gibson is a policy manager with AIDS United. Building on his background in journalism and social work, Drew hopes to bring a unique perspective to his new job, providing policy and advocacy assistance that is both intriguing and insightful. Originally intending to pursue a career as a substance abuse counselor, Drew was serendipitously placed in a HIV case management internship during his first year at the University of Maryland-Baltimore School of Social Work and has gotten more and more involved with HIV advocacy with each passing year. He is exceedingly grateful to have stumbled into such a fulfilling line of work and cannot wait to find out what experiences and opportunities lie ahead in his time at AIDS United.
Before coming to AIDS United, Drew was a freelance writer for TheBody.com; ran his own blog, Virally Suppressed, which focused on issues related to politics, public health, and social justice; and served as a research assistant at the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
As a native of Cincinnati, Drew loves his hometown, but is just as perplexed as the rest of the country as to why his fellow Cincinnatians are so enamored with putting their chili on top of spaghetti.
Victoria M. Rodríguez-Roldán, J.D.
Senior Policy Manager
Victoria M. Rodríguez-Roldán is the senior policy manager for AIDS United, where she brings her own unique intersectional specialties to the fight to end the HIV epidemic. Particular areas of expertise and focus are the issues affecting people living at the intersections of transgender identity, disability and mental illness from a social justice lens. She frequently speaks on discrimination issues impacting the trans and disability communities. She has been profiled in multiple national media outlets and has been published in multiple academic outlets. Before joining AIDS United, she was senior policy counsel at the National LGBTQ Task Force where she led the Trans/GNC Justice Project and the Disability Justice Project. She currently serves in the boards of directors for both HIPS, an organization dedicated to harm reduction for sex work and drug use in Washington, D.C., and Equality New York, New York state’s leading LGBTQ equality organization.
Victoria holds a B.A. in psychology with honors from the University of Puerto Rico, and a J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law. She lives in the Washington, D.C., area
Policy and Communications Associate
Whitney is our Policy and Communications Associate. Whitney has a background in both Public Health and Legal Studies and is passionate about using her talents to help uplift the needs of others. After opening a queer focused resource center on her campus, attending numerous conferences and a volunteer experience at Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Whitney felt led to focus her work on ending the HIV epidemic. She is extremely excited to have the opportunity to be able to uplift the voices of the marginalized and oppressed through her work at AIDS United.
When not at work, Whitney can be found exploring new restaurants, exploring nature, spending time with friends, or planning her next adventure.
Capacity Building Specialist
Carsen (they/them/theirs or he/him/his) is a capacity building specialist at AIDS United for the Strengthening Integrated Approaches to High Impact Prevention in the Midwest Program. Starting on the Fund for Resilience, Equity, and Engagement team, Carsen moved to the capacity building assistance team to pursue opportunities to build into AIDS United’s technical assistance and capacity building resources. Carsen comes from a professional background in public health, community engagement, and advocacy for transgender and gender non-confirming populations. Aside from his role at AIDS United, Carsen serves as a steering committee member for the Trans Legal Advocates of Washington (TransLAW), working to increase funding for life-saving name and gender change clinics in the DMV area.
Carsen is a graduate of American University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in International Relations. With a focus in Identity, Race, Gender, and Culture, they strove to learn about and cultivate inclusive atmospheres in all advocacy spaces, from healthcare to global policy. Through this degree, Carsen developed his passion for bolstering services for underserved communities, and now aims to create space and power for these communities wherever possible.
In their free time, Carsen likes to cook, pretend he’s good at singing Broadway musicals, and spoil their cat, Riggins.
Teresa Bedzigui, MPH
Capacity Building Coordinator
Teresa Bedzigui brings over eight years of HIV/AIDS advocacy work. With a background in economics, social justice and grassroots organizing, Teresa approaches the work at AIDS United with great enthusiasm.
Rooted deeply within intersectional black feminism, Teresa believes that community based, stigma free approaches to health, focused on preventative care, are key to creating a global AIDS free society. As an immigrant from Yaoundé, Cameroon, Teresa’s perspective has always been multinational and intersectional. She believes that immigrant narratives deserve to be heard and valued when discussing HIV/AIDS in the United States, especially as it relates to solutions. Prior to working at AIDS United, Teresa has held positions at the International Monetary Fund, in addition to participating in many national conferences as a speaker and moderator.
Teresa is a recent graduate of Brunel University in London, England, where she earned an MSc in Public Health and Health Promotion. In her free time, Teresa enjoys spending time with her family, building community with new and old friends, and dreaming of holistic approaches to HIV prevention and health literacy. Eventually, Teresa wants to return home to Yaoundé and build a community-based HIV/AIDS health clinic in her family’s village, Mbalmayo.
Hannah Bryant, MPH
Hannah Bryant is the program manager for the HRSA SPNS Dissemination of Evidence-Informed Interventions initiative. In this role, she provides substantive program and administrative support to the initiative, which focuses on dissemination of four adapted linkage and retention interventions to improve health outcomes along the HIV Care Continuum.
Prior to joining AIDS United, Hannah worked on issues effecting the health and well-being of women, both at a community-based organization and a university-led research and policy program. Hannah is particularly interested in the intersection between women, violence, and HIV, as well as best practices to integrally involve people living with HIV in program development and implementation.
Hannah has lived in the Washington, DC area for seven years. She earned her Master of Public Health, focused in Community-oriented Primary Care, from George Washington University in May 2015. Previously, Hannah graduated from American University with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. In her free time Hannah enjoys yoga and exploring new DC restaurants.
Bianca Carrillo enthusiastically serves as a Program Associate supporting three grant-making initiatives: Southern HIV Impact Fund, Partnering and Communicating Together (PACT), and the Positive Organizing Project (POP).
New to the field of public health, Bianca is thrilled to be at AIDS United and feels personally connected to intersectional work. She feels strongly about the evolving relationships between racial justice, social justice, and LGBTQ advancement. Above all, she finds learning how to implement strategies to promote equity is the most exciting part of the work.
Bianca holds a degree in Political Science and minor in Ethnic Studies from Pepperdine University. When she’s not at the office, Bianca is exploring D.C. with her close friends or reading anything she can find.
Alicia Downes, LMSW
Senior Program Manager
Alicia Downes serves as the senior program manager on the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Special Project of National Significance (SPNS), which focuses on dissemination of four adapted linkage and retention interventions to improve health outcomes along the HIV Care Continuum.
Alicia got hooked on sociology during her first semester of college despite her family hope for a Computer Science degree. She received her Masters of Social Work from University of Kansas (Rock Chalk Jayhawk!) and has almost 10 years of experience in mental health. Alicia began work in the HIV field almost 20 years ago, when she was hired as a Ryan White Case Manager. Three months later, she was helping her uncle find HIV services, along with educating her family about HIV.
Alicia has experience managing federal grant from SAMHSA, CDC, HRSA, and private foundations. Prior to joining the staff of AIDS United, Alicia worked as a consultant on this project the AIDS United HRSA SPNS project. She also recently served as the Midwest AIDS Education and Training Center of Missouri Site and Peer Program Manager and an instructor, teaching Community Health Worker classes.
Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, Alicia can sniff out good West Indian food a mile away. In her spare time, she enjoys going to track and field and swimming events to cheer on her sons and walking her dog.
Anselmo Fonseca is the program manager for AIDS United’s initiatives in Puerto Rico. He is an avid advocate for people living with HIV in Puerto Rico, focusing on issues of government accountability, disaster relief and preparedness, and access to care.
In addition to his work with AIDS United, Anselmo is the president and cofounder of the AIDS advocacy group Pacientes de SIDA pro Política Sana (AIDS Patients for Sane Policies), which he and his late partner formed in 1999 after learning about the embezzlement of more than $2 million in funds from the San Juan AIDS Institute by government officials. To this day, frustration with government unaccountability and neglect continues to fuel his efforts to help people living with HIV, especially in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
After being stranded in the mountains for three days after the storm, Anselmo, a founding board member of the National Latino AIDS Action Network and cochair of the Ryan White Part B Planning Body, jumped into action to help fellow islanders living with HIV access disaster assistance to rebuild their homes and secure medications and food in the face of indifference from the government on the mainland.
Senior Program Manager
Julio J. Fonseca is the Program Manager for AIDS United’s Partnering and Communicating Together to Act Against AIDS (PACT) Initiative and People Organizing Positively (POP). He brings 20 years of advocacy, coalition development, capacity building, and community outreach experience with a focus on supporting people impacted by HIV. Julio is excited to work on these initiatives, because he knows first hand the value of supportive communities and innovative programming as a person living with HIV himself since February 14, 2009.
Julio began his career at Mental Health America, where he worked on a research project examining the behavioral health needs of people living with HIV. This sparked a lifelong interest to help bridge gaps along the HIV treatment cascade. Most recently, Julio worked for two national HIV non-profits addressing workforce shortages, fiscal sustainability of Ryan White funded agencies, and helped address the barriers experienced by people living with HIV.
Outside of the office, he volunteers as a “+1 Mentor” for people who are newly diagnosed with HIV at Whitman Walker Health here in Washington, D.C. and in 2014 was appointed to serve on the DC Metropolitan area Ryan White Council. Julio earned a BA in Psychology from George Mason University with distinction. Julio is also fluent in Spanish.
Beyond his volunteer work, Julio, is fascinated by karaoke, loves great conversation, is an avid pool player, and loves music.
Senior Program Manager
Zachary Ford is the program manager for Puerto Rico, Sector Transformation, and Syringe Access Fund programs at AIDS United. In this role, Zachary is responsible for budget development/management, as well as managing program timelines, expectations, deliverables, and administrative processes across these grantmaking and capacity building initiatives.
Before joining the AIDS United team, Zach worked as a non-profit consultant for Giuffrida Associates, where he supported programmatic and financial functions of several national nonprofits. He also worked at the Corporation for Enterprise Development, which focused on asset building for low-income people.
Zach is a graduate of Centre College in Danville, Kentucky with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. His studies focused on the sociology of human rights movements and the law and policy that propelled and/or resulted from these movements. In his free time, Zach enjoys playing with his Labrador/Beagle mix Albie, baking, and exploring DC for the best Southern comfort food.
Laura Gerson, CHES
Laura Gerson, CHES, (they/them/theirs and she/her/hers), is a program associate for AIDS United. Laura comes from a background in public health, gender equity, community engagement and health education. They are a Certified Health Education Specialist with a passion for inclusive community level health education and programming, especially centering the voices of the most marginalized populations.
Laura is a graduate of American University where they earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Health and Women’s, Gender and Sexualities Studies. Through this degree, they focused on the intersections of identity and health, particularly the unique and often overlooked health needs of LGBTQ folks. They are excited to bring this passion for to the national level at AIDS United.
Outside of work, Laura can be found enjoying local DC music venues, baking bread and loving their two cats, Tribble and Ro.
Jacobi Hunter-Wright, M.A.
Jacobi Hunter-Wright serves as a program manager of capacity building for the Strengthening Integrated Approaches in the Midwest Initiative. Prior to joining AIDS United, Jacobi provided program management and evaluation within CBO’s in the south specifically for CDC and state projects based in Texas. His research interest are rooted in addressing health disparities within various focus populations, education, HIV, and creating innovative and best dissemination practices to integrally involve every level of public health in providing prevention and care activities.
Jacobi has lived in Texas for the past 7 years as he previously resided in Atlanta. He earned his Master of Arts in English from Clark Atlanta University in December 2015. Previously, Jacobi graduated from Prairie View A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. He is currently in his second year of his PhD studies in English with an emphasis on Composition and Rhetoric at the Texas A&M Commerce University.
In his free time Jacobi enjoys working out and exploring new restaurants, music, and books.
Capacity Building Specialist
Tobeya is a Capacity Building Specialist at AIDS United working with the Getting to Zero Initiative. He brings experience in qualitative research, direct client service, and curriculum design and implementation.
Previously, Tobeya was a Federal Insurance Navigator at the Missouri-based nonprofit, Saint Louis Effort for AIDS, where he provided health insurance literacy education and enrollment services through a state-wide network of service organizations and clinics. He has also served as a Teach For America corps member in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and as a math instructor with Blueprint Schools Network in East Saint Louis, Illinois.
Tobeya received a BA in Anthropology and African & African American Studies from Washington University in St. Louis.
Jade Lenore LeDuff
Jade Lenore LeDuff hails from the beautiful city of New Orleans, Louisiana, born and raised in the south rooted in southern hospitality. Jade is known to be an emerging leader in the LGBTQI+ community. From a very early age she has always had a heart for people, especially those whom were underserved in any way. Her passion for people has led her to be a public educator, advocate and humanist, volunteer, and leader for Black Transwomen Inc. and Black Trans Advocacy Coalition.
Navigating several intersections of the LGBTQI+ spectrum, Jade started out as a volunteer with an EBI HIV Intervention program, she quickly realized her gifts could truly make an impact with others. She later joined the organization and has been devoted to ensuring the equity and proper treatment of Trans Folx. Though newer to the HIV/AIDS Research field Jades background includes a combined 10+ years of Compliance, Project Management, Training/Development, Facilitation, Reporting, and Event Planning.
Trans and GNC folx can often encounter setbacks, obstacles, discrimination, and adversity simply to live life fully and authentically. Recognizing and identifying those adversities has continued to fuel her work in the Movement towards true equity and equality for Trans and GNC folx.
In her leisure time Jade enjoys cooking, exercising, and the outdoors alongside her fiancé Liam. She is working on writing and documenting her experiences amid her current journey and prior. Her hope is that it will touch the lives of people to be more understanding and educated about people of trans experience.
Melanie Powers, MPH
Senior Program Manager
Melanie Powers is thrilled to serve as Senior Program Manager for the Southern HIV Impact Fund, bringing to the position 8 years of public health experience in HIV prevention, reproductive justice, and comprehensive sex education instruction and advocacy.
As one of many in her generation for whom law school seemed a final option upon discovering limited use for her liberal arts degree, she will be forever grateful for her introduction into public health. Beginning as an administrative assistant at IWES in New Orleans, it became clear that her desire to work for social justice and equity could be realized in the field of public health and better yet, it could be coupled with her personal passion for sex positivity and promoting sexual health.
She spends most of her free time laughing and adventuring with her partner, Eve, and pup, Wookie. She also enjoys practicing guitar and dance. Lastly, as a New Orleans native, lifelong Saints fan, and resident of Atlanta since Summer 2017, she feels the following must be stated: Who Dat?!
Joseph Stango is a program manger working on the Using Evidence-Informed Interventions to Improve the Health Outcomes Among People Living with HIV initiative (E2i). He joined the AIDS United team in early 2018 after having served at other non-profit organizations.
Joseph is thrilled to be working on a project that will help improve the health outcomes of communities throughout the country affected by HIV. He is particularly passionate about helping foster programs that serve and encourage resiliency in people living through sexual trauma.
He is proud to have studied in Baltimore, Chicago, and Paris. In his time outside of AIDS United, Joseph enjoys boxing, watching old Japanese movies, and reading poetry.
Senior Program Manager
Kelly Stevens, MSOD, brings almost a decade of experience in organizational development, health research and systems strengthening to her work as a senior program manager on AIDS United’s capacity building assistance team. She believes that few things are more important than personal wellness and strives to promote sustainable efforts that challenge inequities in health outcomes and access to care among people of color and marginalized communities. Kelly received her Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Temple University, and her Master of Science in organizational development and leadership with a concentration in organizational psychology from Saint Joseph’s University.
On her off time, Kelly serves on the board of directors for HIPS, a Washington, DC based harm reduction organization that promotes the health, rights, and dignity of individuals and communities impacted by sexual exchange and/or drug use through advocacy and comprehensive, low barrier programs and services.
Marvell L Terry II
Marvell L. Terry II is a public health strategist, community builder, and thought leader. Marvell is a native of Memphis, TN; and has lived in Washington, DC; Prince George’s County, Maryland; and currently reside in Atlanta, GA.
The genesis of Marvell’s work began as an early intervention specialist (EIS) at a children’s hospital in Memphis and a federally qualified healthcare center (FQHC), linking newly diagnosed individuals into care or finding those who have not been adherent to their healthcare plan. Subsequently, Marvell’s work can speak to his passion locally, regionally and nationally. Marvell is the founder of the annual Saving Ourselves Symposium (SOS), a convening for Black LGBTQ individuals living in the South focused on health, wellness, and social injustices of this community; and founder of The Red Door Foundation, a non-profit purposed to fight for the health outcomes of Black gay men in the Mid-South. Marvell is a past Organizing Committee Member of the Young Black Gay Men’s Leadership Initiative, and a AVAC PxRoar Fellow.
Marvell’s published work “Prevalence and Correlates of HIV-Risk Behaviors among Homeless Adults in a Southern City” can be found in the Journal of Health and Disparities Research and Practice (Spring 2014, Volume 7). Marvell is currently a student at Bowie State University.
Bryan Thompson is a program associate for the Using Evidence-Informed Interventions to Improve the Health Outcomes Among People Living with HIV initiative (E2i).
Bryan is a DC Native who loves his city. That same love is what led him to nonprofit work in the area, starting out at Us Helping Us, People Into Living, an organization that caters towards Gay Black Men like himself. Through his experience at Us Helping Us, Bryan developed a passion for public health. He discovered how much joy could come from talking with people about sex, their sexual health, to build community and reduce stigma. He is thrilled to be bringing this passion to the national level in his work at AIDS United.
Outside of his work, Bryan loves Britney Spears, Game of Thrones, and unicorns. In addition, his latest craze has been traveling. He has a goal to visit all 48 continental states of the country in what he hopes to be an epic road trip around America.
Obrenka G. Thompson-Clayborn, MPH
Obrenka G. Thompson-Clayborn prides herself on being a public health professional with a true passion for health equity strategies, grass roots capacity building and cultural humility. Obrenka is a true southern girl with her roots in Alabama. A Decatur, AL native Obrenka received her Bachelor’s degree in African American Studies from the University of Alabama, Birmingham and her Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Memphis. Obrenka’ s passion for public health started in undergrad where she majored in Chemistry Pre-Med. However, after countless hours of studying and in all honestly failing, she changed her major to African American studies and decided that her impact would be larger in public health. While taking a Health Disparities course Obrenka was introduced to the inequities in maternal child health and realized the disparities that she was being taught could be her fate in the future. Once both of her parents were diagnosed with preventable cancers her senior year, Obrenka knew Public Health prevention work would be her purpose.
Obrenka says she has been called to Public Health and HIV prevention for one simple reason, the people. As she likes to call herself she is a “talkative introvert”. She loves socializing and helping her fellow community but also enjoys a good book by Black authors or binge watching cooking competitions on Netflix.
Kimberly Valmores has been interested in social justice and socioeconomic reform ever since she was a child when she first witnessed poverty in the slums of her native country of Panama. By the time she became a college student as a young adult, she knew she wanted to commit her life to the nonprofit field after completing her first internship at the Multicultural Refugee Coalition in Austin, Texas where she taught career skills to refugees from different parts of the world. For the past several years, she has worked for other nonprofit organizations – including the YMCA and the AmeriCorps program – where she taught young children important life skills such as self-love as well as emergency preparedness for future disasters such as earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes. While she completed her master’s degree at New York University, she also completed two short internships at the United Nations headquarters based in New York City. She provided technical design support to UN Women’s www.empowerwomen.org website in the spring of 2015, and she also provided administrative assistance to the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service during the United Nations Sustainable Summit in the fall of 2015.
During her spare time, Kimberly likes to practice her photography skills while exploring the outdoors and singing off-key to popular songs. She also likes to educate herself on important matters related to diversity, inclusion and equality for all since she continuously values and fosters lifelong learning in both her personal life as well as her professional career.
Dwyane Williams Jr.
Dwyane Williams contributes a decade of experience working in community mobilization and organizing throughout the U.S. — with some of his most notable work in Houston and Atlanta. During this time, he has found inventive ways to combine HIV research, community engagement and social connectivity. Dwyane began this journey through HIV vaccine research and later began focusing on community level programming and organizing safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth and young adults. He has continuously grown his leadership in community engagement among various communities including youth, communities of color, LGBTQ+ and other marginalized and underserved populations with an emphasis on programming for gay and queer men of color. Throughout his experiences, he has integrated knowledge of health, social and economic matters with social innovation strategies aimed at addressing community challenges and has lead various initiatives focused on the leadership pipeline among men of color. He contributes experience in direct service, research, grant management and community organizing.
A native Houstonian and self-proclaimed “foodie”, Dwyane enjoys cooking, traveling and all things Southern. Dwyane currently resides in New York City, New York.
Senior Grants Manager
Shannon Wyss is AIDS United’s Senior Grants Manager. They work with our online grant application and report systems and strive to make AU the most efficient and effective grantmaker possible. Previously, Shannon spent 2 years as a Program Manager overseeing the Transgender Leadership Initiative and the HIV Hurricane Relief Effort portfolios. Shannon has devoted their career to social justice, whether through providing technical assistance to programs serving trans people living with HIV or youth of color, supporting sexual freedom, helping parents find appropriate schools for their children with disabilities, or working in HIV philanthropy.
It all began in sixth grade, when Shannon learned that women made less than men in the workplace. Since then, Shannon has embraced feminism and grown to support a variety of social justice movements, including LGBTQ liberation, racial justice, and youth and children’s rights.
In 1993, Shannon started the process of coming out to themself and now identifies as both genderqueer and queer. They’re very pleased to work with an organization that so strongly supports trans communities throughout the country.
Outside of work, Shannon supports gender non-conforming and transgender children, helps organize a local anti-racist book group, and publishes on social justice-related topics. Shannon has a BA in International Studies from Vassar College and an MA in Women’s Studies from George Washington University. They live in Hyattsville, MD with their life partner and various adopted animals. In Shannon’s free time, they enjoy photography, yard work, watching the news, and Facebook.
R. Warren Gill III, M.Div. M.A.
Director of Communication
Warren Gill serves as the director of communication for AIDS United. Throughout his career, Gill’s mission has focused on helping justice-seeking people, candidates and organizations speak from a place of their values to affect social change.
Most recently, Gill served as director of communications and digital strategy at the General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church, and before that was a regional press secretary on the Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign. He worked previously as communications manager at the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice where he addressed women’s right to choose and their access to HIV and STD prevention. Gill holds a master’s degree in political communications from the American University in Washington, D.C, as well as a Master of Divinity from the seminary at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California.
He is an expert in digital and social media and brings academic expertise in cognitive linguistics. His thesis was a strategic plan to build the progressive worldview in millennials through the lens of income inequality.
Helen Parshall, MSJ
A self-described “professional bisexual,” Helen Parshall serves as the Communications Manager for AIDS United. She is an avid writer and passionate social justice advocate, who uses digital media to bring visibility to marginalized communities. Before joining the team at AIDS United, Helen spent five and a half years at the Human Rights Campaign, working on issues at the nexus of racial justice, transgender justice and bisexual visibility within the broader LGBTQ movement.
From covering stories about the broken criminal justice system in Baltimore City to rebuilding homes for LGBTQ elders in Puerto Rico, Helen has always been driven by a desire to uplift others in the hopes of creating a better, more just world. She is a graduate of St. Mary’s College of Maryland and the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism, holding a master’s in journalism degree with a focus in multi-platform journalism.
When not joining her housemates at a rally in D.C., Helen can be found reading a book or watching Doctor Who curled up with her dog, Pippin.
Senior Development Consultant
Throughout his career in organizational development, Rock Schuler has worked with individuals and entities to achieve ambitious fundraising targets. His portfolio consists of faith-based and secular non-profits, including organizational start-ups and the management of new projects.
“Fundraising,” Rock explains, “is all about values – helping donors and funders match their values to those of an organization I believe in – an organization like AIDS United. When we work together, we can greatly amplify the impact our shared values make – in our neighbors’ lives, in our communities and throughout our nation and our world.”
Rock holds a Doctor of Ministry in Organizational Development and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE).
Payroll & Human Resource Accountant
Jessica Fernandez brings excitement and over 8 years of experience in payroll and accounting to AIDS United. In her role as payroll and human resource accountant, Jessica is responsible for payroll and human resources needs, as well as supporting the Director of Finance with accounting and financial operations.
Jessica grew up in the foster care system in Florida. Through dedication and a personal commitment to overcome the odds stacked against her, she has made a career in accounting and HR. She has extensive experience in the area, and has managed payroll and HR for over 300 employees at one time!
Working at AIDS United is Jessica’s first venture into the non-profit sector, though she has always had a personal commitment to mission-driven work and giving back. Jessica is a frequent volunteer with disabilities groups including Special Olympics, Walk In Their Shoes, and Special Needs Assistance Programs for Persons with Disabilities (SNAP). Additionally, in her spare time she also enjoys fishing, musicals and home decorating.
Senior Administrative Assistant
Judith May is the senior administrative assistant at AIDS United. In this position, Judith supports the mission of AIDS United by providing high-level administrative support and facilitating cross-departmental communication.
Judith has enjoyed serving as administrative support in academic, corporate, and non-profit settings. A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Judith’s hometown inspired her interest in population health and justice-centered solutions to health disparities. Back at home, she was active in a local black women’s health initiative which evolved into Judith becoming staff at the Black Women’s Health Imperative in Washington, DC. There, she served 5 years supporting the organization’s programs at the national level.
Judith is excited to share her enthusiasm for helping others. She enjoys cooking, dancing, and spending quality time with family and friends.
MBA Senior Accountant
Jovita Valentines, MBA brings over a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector in accounting to AIDS United. In her role as Senior Accountant, Jovita is responsible for all financial transactions, record keeping, as well as day-to-day financial operations.
Born in Brooklyn, NY Jovita was raised by hard working Jamaican parents. She was raised with a high sense of integrity, and moral responsibility. New to the field of public health and D.C, Jovita is excited to be at AIDS United, supporting its mission. She believes in working for an organization that’s making a difference in under-served communities.
Jovita holds a degree in Accounting, Marketing, and a Masters in Business Management. She has extensive experience in accounting, including cash management, analyzing financial data, payroll, and supervising accounting staff. When she’s not at the office, Jovita loves to travel, spend quality time with family and close friends, reading, cooking, and dancing.
Raymond F. Washington III, CMA. MBA, MS
Raymond serves as Controller under the AIDS United Operations Team, spearheading the strategic alignment of mission with finances. In support of AU’s 2018-2020 strategic plan, Raymond will continue to guide AU’s financial activities in support of achieving our mission. This will include leveraging technology, staff financial trainings, and partnering across the organization to increase efficiencies.
Raymond has a long history of nonprofit financial experience serving, Head Start, Healthy Start, and the Boys and Girls Club. Raymond has also served on several boards and national advisory committees over the course of his career.
However, his most important roles are husband and father of two.
Mackenzie (she/her) serves as the Policy Assistant at AIDS United, supporting the AIDS United Policy Team with all their administrative needs! Before joining AU, Mackenzie had more than three years of experience in public health and social justice, serving on various campaigns and as an intern at several health organizations throughout the DMV and her home of South Florida. Through these internship and advocacy opportunities, she developed a passion for sexual and reproductive health and rights which led to her interest in ending the HIV epidemic.
Mackenzie has always prided herself on centering equity and intersectionality in everything that she does and is excited about the opportunity to continue uplifting and advocating for the voices of the nation’s most disproportionately affected populations.
Among her passions are her undying love for baking, exploring the city, and finding new vegan restaurants to try throughout the DMV!
She holds a B.A. in Political Science from the George Washington University with minors in Public Health and Sustainability.
Robert “Bobby” Hilliard Jr., M.D.
Chief Medical Officer Altus ACE Managed Care Practice
Dr. Robert “Bobby” Hilliard is the Chief Medical Officer of Altus ACE managed care practice. He holds a medical degree from the University of Texas and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He has served on the board of directors for Legacy Community Health Services, Inc., a Federally Qualified Health Center in Houston, since 2007. He is also a diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Dr. Hilliard most recently held the position of CEO with Wellcare of Illinois where he was responsible for oversight of 145,000 Medicaid members, 14,000 Medicare Advantage members and 23,000 Medicare Prescription Drug members across Illinois.
Prior to joining WellCare, Dr. Hilliard also functioned as Chief Operating Officer for United Healthcare’s Community Plan in Texas, Chief Medical Officer for Molina Healthcare of Texas and Regional Medical Director of Western Commercial Markets for Humana in Texas.
“When I was a senior in high school, I worked part time at a hospital in Texas when people were still unsure of the illness. I recall people, including me, putting on a gown, mask, cap, and gloves to simply drop off and pick up a patient’s meal from their room. Later, while in residency, people thought of treatment options in terms of months and not years. Today, I am privileged to work for an entity that helps coordinate care and medical services for people living with HIV. I believe the end of this era is in our grasp and I want to be part of an organization on the forefront of advocacy and the importance of getting tested.”
Glen Pietrandoni, R.Ph. AAHIVP
Board Vice Chair
Vice President of Industry Relations Avita Pharmacy
Glen Pietrandoni, R.Ph., AAHIVP, is the Vice President of Industry Relations at Avita Pharmacy and recently retired Senior Director, Patient Care and Advocacy HIV, Hepatitis, Organ Transplant, Chronic Inflammatory Disease, from a 30 year career at Walgreens. Glen is a life-long resident of the Chicago area, where he been an active member of the HIV/AIDS community. After graduating from the St. Louis College of Pharmacy, Glen became the owner of multiple independent pharmacies in Chicago and its suburbs for 10 years. He began his career with Walgreens in 1990, around the time of the approval of the first HIV/AIDS drugs. At that time, he began working with the LGBT community, dispensing much-needed emotional support as well as medication during a time when people did not survive as long with HIV/AIDS as they do today.
From 1996 to 2003, he managed the Walgreens pharmacy at the Howard Brown Health Center which specializes in HIV/AIDS—the first Walgreens pharmacy of its kind, located in an LGBT community center. Today, Walgreens has more than 200 locations within health centers, over 100 of them focus on HIV/AIDS and over 700 HIV specialized pharmacies in highly impacted communities across the country. Now almost a 25-year veteran with Walgreens, Glen is responsible for HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis products and services globally. Some of his key accomplishments include implementing patient support programs across multiple channels and providing pharmacist HIV/AIDS education.
As part of his ongoing commitment to supporting patients with HIV/AIDS, Glen earned his American Academy of HIV Medicine Expert designation in 2008. He plays an active role in gay community initiatives, co-chairing gala committees for HBHC and the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, as well as currently serving on the boards of directors’ two national HIV/AIDS organizations based in Washington, D.C. (AIDS United and ADAP Advocacy Association). Glen has also co-chaired WPRIDE, the Walgreens LGBT affinity group. He is the recipient of the following awards: 2002 Volunteer of the Year, Test Positive Aware Network, 1999 Drug Topics Magazine Pharmacist of the Year-Overall Performance and 1998 Drug Topics Magazine Pharmacist of the Year-Community Service. In 2012, Elton John referenced the Walgreens commitment to contributing to the end of AIDS in his book “Love is the Cure” citing their commitment to the cause and the difference being made at the local level by America’s largest drugstore company. Glen’s programs and the thousands of Walgreens employees have positioned Walgreens as a leader in HIV care, recognized by government agencies, medical providers and most importantly, by HIV consumers.
“Being on the Board of Trustees of AIDS United allows me to connect to programmatic work being done across the country on the front lines of health care. From my position as a pharmacist, most of my experience is helping people that are already in care, has a health care provider and support, as well as coverage for medication. Often, many people living with HIV do not have these luxuries. As a member of the Board of Trustees of AIDS United, I can keep my perspective of how much work still needs to be done and how many people still need help.”
Executive Director Legacy Community Health Services, Inc.
For the past 17 years, Katy Caldwell has been the CEO of Legacy Community Health Services, Inc., a not for profit federally qualified health center which provides low or no cost health, social, and educational services. Prior to her position with Legacy, Caldwell was with the firm, Quantum Consultants, a government relations and political consulting firm where she served as a legislative consultant for business and local governments on issues ranging from health care policy to child abuse prevention.
From 1991 until 1994, Caldwell served as the elected Treasurer of Harris County and was appointed by Governor Ann Richards to the Board of Trustees of the Texas County and District Retirement System that oversees over $4 billion dollars in retirement funds.
Caldwell is active in several community organizations. She has received numerous awards and recognition for her community activities. She is currently on the board of directors of AIDS United, Greater Houston Health Connect, Harris County Healthcare Alliance, Houston First, and LISC. Caldwell is an alumna of the American Leadership Forum, Center for Houston’s Future, Leadership Houston, and the Texas Lyceum.
Katy Caldwell is a native Houstonian, a graduate of the University of Houston, and lives in Montrose with her cats, Larry, LuLu, and Snickers.
Jamie Nesbitt, Ph.D.
Senior Patent Agent
Bend, OR and Austin, TX
Jamie Nesbitt received a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from University of Alabama at Birmingham before moving to California for post-doctoral fellowship in neurobiology at Stanford University. Following the fellowship, he took a position at a start-up biotech company (FibroGen) as one of their first research scientists. After four years and having advanced to a Senior Research Scientist position, Nesbitt ‘left the bench’ and redirected his career to that of intellectual property, becoming a patent agent while at FibroGen, where he stayed for an additional eleven years, advancing to Director, Intellectual Property. In 2011, Dr. Nesbitt accepted a patent agent position at Genentech, supporting infectious disease, neuroscience, development sciences, and structural biology. Currently, Dr. Nesbitt is a senior patent agent at Alector LLC.
In 2008, Nesbitt was diagnosed with primary/acute HIV infection and began treatment immediately. Jamie has been a consultant for Gilead, giving a patient’s perspective on HIV and HIV medications as part of their new hire program. Additionally, he was a clinical trial study volunteer in the STEP HIV Vaccine trial and has served on the Community Advisory Group of the HIV Research Section within the San Francisco Department of Public Health.
“Being an AIDS United Board of Trustees member gives me the opportunity to work with a focused and passionate team of individuals committed to ending the HIV epidemic in America.”
Founder and Creative Director
Duane Cramer Creative
Duane Cramer is known internationally for his inspired photography and social marketing expertise. Cramer’s first published images graced the pages of Harpers Bazaar Latin America in 1996, and since then his work has been featured in Vibe, British GQ, The New York Times and other prominent publications. He has uniquely framed and captured images from the President of the United States of America to top models, Academy and Grammy Award winning artists and Olympians. Cramer’s artistic passion gives him strength in his personal fight against HIV while visually documenting the impact of AIDS on people who too often go unnoticed.
As a trustee for organizations established to make a difference in the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS, Cramer’s contributions to world-wide prevention efforts are well known and recognized and indicative of his unwavering commitment to service.
As Founder and Creative Director of Duane Cramer Creative (DCC), Cramer and his team provide specialized advertising and business consulting services to groups, foundations and agencies. In this capacity, Cramer has become one of the most sought after photographers for organizations seeking leadership and direction in capturing and applying relevant imagery through national campaigns.
Early accomplishments and preparation for leadership started when Cramer earned his B.B.A (Marketing) from the University of Southern California, followed by 18 years of corporate leadership. He gained critical support, inspiration, and mentoring from his father, Joe. J. Cramer, Jr. PhD, who died from AIDS related complications in 1986 (while professor and associate dean of the business school at Howard University Washington, D.C.). Duane says “HIV has been living with me” since 1996.
Cramer has tapped his artistic gifts and passion to fuel his HIV activism. He encourages others, particularly African Americans, to know their HIV status and take action to live healthy lives. Cramer’s leadership and influence has become vital for the international efforts to raise awareness and bring an end to the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Senior Director of Strategic Projects
Transgender Law Center
San Francisco, CA
Cecilia Chung, Senior Director of Strategic Projects of Transgender Law Center, is a Health Commissioner of San Francisco and an internationally recognized human rights leader who advocates for HIV/AIDS awareness and treatment access, LGBT equality, and social justice.
An immigrant from Hong Kong, Cecilia arrived in San Francisco in 1984. Cecilia has worked locally and internationally to advance equality and justice. Over the past 25 years, Cecilia has broken ground in a number of ways including: being the first transgender woman and first Asian to be elected to lead the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Celebration; the first transgender woman and first person living openly with HIV to Chair the San Francisco Human Rights Commission; and, an architect of the nation’s most ambitious publicly funded program addressing economic justice within the transgender community. Her community service spans nearly two decades. In 1994, she was a member of San Francisco’s Transgender Discrimination Task Force, which documented widespread discrimination against transgender people through a groundbreaking report. The work of the Taskforce led the City to adopt many pioneering anti-discrimination ordinances and policies. During her tenure as President of the SF Pride Board, she led the organization in achieving a new standard of inclusion and excellence.
In 2004, as a founding producer of Trans March, she helped organize one of the world’s largest annual transgender events which has since been replicated in cities across the U.S. In 2005, she became the first Deputy Director of the Transgender Law Center and is widely credited with shaping the organization’s mission and programs. In 2013, she was appointed to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. In 2015, Cecilia launched Positively Trans, a first-of-its-kind leadership development project that focuses on trans leaders of color living with HIV.
Cecilia’s accolades include the Levis Strauss & Co. Pioneer Award, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation Cleve Jones Award, the Human Rights Campaign Community Service Award, California Women of The Year, Out and Equal Champion of the Year Award, to name a few.
As one of the seven commissioners in San Francisco Department of Public Health, Cecilia chairs the Finance and Planning Committee that provide oversights and approve contracts with a combine budget of US$ 2.2 billions. As an Asian transgender woman living with HIV, she has dedicated herself to ending stigma, discrimination, and violence in all communities.
Eric Dube, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Dube is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Travere Therapeutics., a San Diego-based biotechnology company dedicated to identifying, developing and delivering life-changing therapies to people living with rare disease. Under Dr. Dube’s leadership, Travere is advancing its late-stage pipeline with the goal of changing the treatment paradigm for people living with rare kidney disorders, and broadening access for diverse patients in the rare community. In acknowledgement of his commitment to patients with unmet needs and his leadership in the industry, Dr. Dube was recently named one of the 100 Most Inspiring People in the life sciences industry by PharmaVoice magazine.
Prior to joining Travere, Dr. Dube was President and Head of North America at ViiV Healthcare, where he led the commercialization of pipeline assets and oversaw governance for the company’s North America business. Before joining ViiV, Dr. Dube worked for more than 18 years in roles of increasing leadership at GlaxoSmithKline plc.
Dr. Dube graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.S. in Biopsychology and earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology from Cornell University. Dr. Dube currently serves on the Board of Directors at Travere and the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), as well as on the Board of Trustees for AIDS United.
June Gipson, Ph.D.
My Brother’s Keeper, Inc.
June Gipson, PhD is the President/CEO of My Brother’s Keeper, Inc. in Ridgeland, MS. MBK is a leading provider of HIV care in the South.
Dr. Gipson has worked in the public health arena for over 14 years. During her tenure, she has worked diligently as an educator and health professional to implement an array of community-oriented programs that focus on improving the health and wellness of minority communities.
Most recently, Dr. Gipson has expanded her service range into the clinical arena with the establishment of Mississippi’s first LGBTI primary healthcare clinic, Open Arms Healthcare Center. This vibrant, patient-focused healthcare center provides innovative, Preventive, Clinical, and Mental Healthcare services to underserved, underinsured, and underrepresented populations in Mississippi, with emphasis on the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) communities.
Dr. Gipson holds a Bachelor degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Southern Mississippi, a Master degree in Education Administration from William Carey College, a Specialist degree in Education Leadership, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Urban Higher Education from Jackson State University.
David Holtgrave, Ph.D.
Dean of the School of Public Health
University at Albany-SUNY
David Holtgrave, PhD, has served as the Dean of the School of Public Health, University at Albany, State University of New York since March 2018. He is also appointed as a SUNY Empire Innovation Professor.
From August 2005 through February 2018, David served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Health, Behavior and Society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In July 2017, he was appointed to hold the Inaugural Health, Behavior and Society Professorship (an endowed professorship). He also held joint appointments in the Johns Hopkins schools of medicine and nursing.
Dr. Holtgrave has worked extensively in the field of HIV prevention since 1991. His research has focused on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of HIV prevention interventions and the translation of those study findings to HIV prevention policy. Dr. Holtgrave previously served as member and then vice-chair of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS during President Obama’s Administration, and testified before the U.S. House of Representatives during Representative Henry Waxman’s hearing on domestic HIV Prevention in 2008.
Prior to his position at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Holtgrave was a professor at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. He also served as director of the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention – Intervention Research and Support at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as on the faculty at the Center for AIDS Intervention Research at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He has authored or co-authored over 300 professional publications. He edited The Handbook of Economic Evaluation for HIV Prevention Programs (Plenum Press, 1998). Along with a number of colleagues from AIDS United and Johns Hopkins University, he is a co-author of the book, Improving Access to HIV Care: Lessons from Five U.S. Sites (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015).
Vice President and Chief Advocacy Officer
Bill Keeton is the Vice President and Chief Advocacy Officer for Vivent Health where he has dedicated 15 years to the pursuit of health and social justice for people affected by HIV. At Vivent Health, Bill is responsible for the organization’s public policy advocacy, external relations, and public sector grant writing efforts supporting growing health care and prevention operations across four states. Bill has been an invited panelist at several national conferences, has organized and led efforts to enhance the local, state and federal government response to the HIV, opioid and STI syndemics with an emphasis on the Ryan White and 340B Programs, and has been appointed to the Wisconsin Public Health Council since 2012, having been elected Chair twice by his peers. He lives in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin with his three children.
Positive Women’s Network – USA
Naina Khanna is Executive Director for Positive Women’s Network – USA, a national organization that prepares and supports women living with HIV to be involved in all levels of policy and decision-making by: eliminating stigma, building leadership, mobilizing advocates, and changing policy. Naina currently serves on the Steering Committee for the 30 for 30 Campaign as well as the US People Living with HIV (PLHIV) Caucus, as a member of the Women’s Research Initiative (WRI), and has served on President Obama’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) since February 2010. Prior to working in HIV, Naina co-founded and served as National Field Director for the League of Pissed Off Voters, a progressive electoral organizing project focused on increasing political participation by young people and communities of color.
Amelia Korangy, M.S.W.
Amelia is a Senior Manager at ViiV Healthcare where she leads the company’s Positive Action community giving programs in the US. Her focus is on national initiatives that drive new insights, connection and impact for people living with HIV, as well as initiatives focused on closing gaps in care in the Southern US and for cis-and-trans women of color. In this role, she leads grantmaking, convening and technical assistance efforts across portfolios and works to amplify bright spots in the HIV movement through strategic and creative communications.
Amelia started her career working alongside young people who were homeless, spent time movement building to end child sexual abuse at the Ms. Foundation for Women, and worked as a senior philanthropic advisor and capacity builder at TCC Group. She’s a trained social worker, with a graduate degree in Social Enterprise from Columbia University and a bachelor’s in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Funders Concerned About AIDS and lives in Washington DC.
Kimberly Jeffries Leonard, Ph.D.
17th National President of The Links, Incorporated
Kimberly Jeffries Leonard, Ph.D., a 1986 alumna of Fayetteville State University (FSU), is the 17th National President of The Links, Incorporated. It is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry.
Dr. Leonard, a Fayetteville native and graduate of Reid Ross High School, has a broad background in public health. She has expertise in minority health and behavioral health programs, policies, and related legislation; with subject matter expertise in minority health, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, cardiovascular disease, health disparities, health care reform, tribal issues, re-entry and criminal justice issues, international behavioral health, co-occurring mental health and trauma, and women’s and adolescent services. She has over 30 years of applied health, minority health, and behavioral medicine research, evaluation, and technical assistance and training experience specializing in health promotion and disease prevention.
Dr. Leonard earned a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Psychology from Howard University and a Master of Science Degree from North Carolina Central University.
Manager of Clinical Health Services
Cascade AIDS Project
Edgar Mendez serves as the Manager of Clinical Health Services for the largest AIDS Service Organization in the State of Oregon: Cascade AIDS Project (CAP).
In his role, Edgar manages HIV/STI clinical services, insurance and benefits navigation, and overall safety and compliance for CAP’s testing programs.
Before working at Cascade AIDS Project, Edgar was a long standing volunteer. He started in 2006, as a peer educator with CAP’s youth program ‘Teen2Teen’. Eventually Edgar would return as staff for the same program, providing comprehensive, inclusive and accurate education around HIV & STI prevention, healthy relationships, and gender identity to a variety of schools and community groups across Oregon.
A native of Albuquerque New Mexico, he’s lived in Portland Oregon most his life. In 2013-2014 Edgar served as a youth scholar with the National Minority AIDS Council. Edgar attended Willamette University where he graduated with his B.A in Politics in 2012.
Global Healthy Living Foundation (GHLF)
After running a successful international public relations, advertising and marketing company for nearly 20 years, taking equity positions in tech companies during the ‘90s, and working for some of the largest international PR and marketing agencies, Louis Tharp became a social entrepreneur in 1999, co-founding and funding CreakyJoints®, the digital community for millions of arthritis patients and caregivers worldwide who seek education, support, activism, and patient-centered research. In 2007, CreakyJoints became part of the Global Healthy Living Foundation (GHLF), which he also co-founded and now serves as Executive Director. GHLF focuses on health policy, advocacy, research, education and patient support issues impacting people with all types of chronic disease. In addition to his work with the foundation, he is also CEO and co-founder of TGI Healthworks, a healthcare research and marketing company.
He was previously a contract writer for The New York Times as well as other daily newspapers and automotive publications, and published his first hardcover book, The Complete Manager’s Guide to Promotional Merchandise (Dow-Jones Irwin) in 1989 – named one of the top business books of the year.
In 2005, he became the first out gay coach at the U.S. Military Academy, where he was the swim coach of the West Point Triathlon team. He published Overachiever’s Diary in 2007, a softcover book recounting the West Point tri team’s rise to national prominence. Proceeds from book sales went to the West Point triathlon team. He is also a competitive open water and pool swimmer with 13 World Masters, Gay Games and OutGames gold, silver and bronze medals.
From 2003 to 2008, he served on the board of visitors for the College of Business at Butler University, Indianapolis where he graduated with a B.S. and a B.A. in Journalism in 1972. Mr. Tharp served in the 38th Infantry Division, Headquarters, Indiana National Guard from 1972-1978. He was Chairman of the Anti-Bias Commission, Rockland County, New York, from 1994-1996; Chairman of the Board of CANDLE, a Rockland County, New York, non-profit from 1994-1997; is a former member of the board of the Victory Fund, Washington, DC, the Lambda Chi Alpha Educational Foundation, and a current member of Knights Out, U.S. Military Academy. From 2012-2018 he accepted a position in the Obama administration serving on the Army Education Advisory Committee and was recognized for his service in the Congressional Record.
Louis and his husband, Jim Bumgardner, live in Upper Nyack, NY.
AIDS Project Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA
Craig Thompson, Executive Director of AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) joined the organization as Chief Operating Officer in 1997 and became the Executive Director in July 1998. As the leader of one of the largest HIV/AIDS service organizations in the United States, he oversees all APLA operations, including health education and HIV prevention, government affairs, client and community services, fund development, finance and communications.
Prior to joining APLA, Thompson was Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) from 1992 to 1997. While at AHF, he played a lead role in establishing and operating Positive Healthcare, the first Medicaid managed care program in the U.S. for persons with AIDS.
From 1988 to 1992, Thompson was employed by Security Pacific Burns Fry, an investment banking firm, working as part of the advisory team in mergers and acquisitions.
Thompson received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Washington State University and graduate degrees from the University of Washington School of Law and New York University School of Law. He also earned a master’s degree in business administration from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.