Douglas Brooks Appointed Director of Office of National AIDS Policy

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Thursday Apr 10, 2014

The White House has announced the appointment of Douglas M. Brooks, MSW, as the Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP). As the Director of ONAP, he will lead the Obama administration's work to reduce new HIV infections, improve health outcomes for people living with HIV, and eliminate HIV-related health disparities in the United States.

"Douglas's policy expertise combined with his extensive experience working in the community makes him uniquely suited to the task of helping to achieve the goal of an AIDS-free generation, which is within our reach," said President Barack Obama. "I look forward to having him lead our efforts from the White House."

AIDS Service Organizations are also applauding the appointment.

"As the first openly Black gay man living with HIV to hold the post, Mr. Brooks will bring incredible insight of what it means to be living with this disease to ONAP and the White House," said National Minority AIDS Council Executive Director Paul Kawata. "As the most heavily impacted population in the country, it is critical that Black gay men -- especially those living with HIV -- are represented at the highest levels of our government's response to the epidemic. We look forward to working closely with Mr. Brooks in his new role, and building on the invaluable work of his predecessors to realize the vision of an AIDS-free generation."

Since 2010, Brooks has served on the President's Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) and most recently was Senior Vice President for Community, Health, and Public Policy at the Justice Resource Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. In addition, he has served on the boards of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, AIDS United and the National Black Gay Men's Advocacy Coalition.

"His decades of experience working on the ground to combat this epidemic, will prove incredibly useful as he works to implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and the HIV Care Continuum initiative," added Kawata.

The AIDS Institute also applauded the announcement, saying that they look forward to working with Douglas as they collectively strive to implement the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, including reducing the number of new infections and increasing care and treatment to people living with HIV.

Achieving these goals in an environment of constrained budget resources and within the changing landscape of the Affordable Care Act provides unique opportunities and challenges. The AIDS Institute is confident that Brooks possesses the leadership and passion to guide the White House through the next few years as together we aim to fulfill the President's desire to realize an AIDS-free generation.

"As a Black, gay man who is living with HIV, Douglas combines the personal as well as professional experience needed to lead the federal government's HIV policies and implement the President's National HIV/AIDS Strategy," said the AIDS Institute via a recent statement.

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


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