ChicagoThe AIDS Foundation of Chicago ( AFC ) board of directors has announced its appointment of AFC Vice President David Ernesto Munar to the post of president/CEO, effective Jan. 31, 2011.
After 20 years at AFC and 12 as its chief executive, President/CEO Mark Ishaug will leave the organization early next year to head AIDS United, a new Washington, D.C.-based national organization resulting from the merger of the National AIDS Fund and AIDS Action.
"David is a highly respected local and national leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS and we are confident in his abilities to continue Mark's excellent stewardship of AFC's trailblazing work," said Aaron Baker, chairman of the AFC board of directors. "We are also incredibly grateful for Mark's many years of service to AFC and continued commitment to the cause nationally where his many talents and skills will be put to immediate good use."
Munar has worked at AFC since 1991. He most recently served as the organization's vice president, with oversight and management of its $16-million portfolio of care, prevention, and policy programs and services.
"I am truly honored by this opportunity and humbled by the many challenges our city and nation face to improve the health and lives of the millions affected by the HIV crisis at home and abroad," Munar said. "I also applaud the creation of AIDS United and know Mark will motivate partners across the U.S. to build a more vibrant, powerful, and united AIDS advocacy movement."
Throughout his career, Munar has collaborated with colleagues, locally and nationally, to nurture responses to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. In 2007, Munar helped found the Coalition for a National AIDS Strategy, which mobilized thousands of individuals and organizations to advocate for a national plan of action against HIV/AIDS. With President Barack Obama's announcement earlier this year of the nation's first HIV/AIDS strategy, Munar and colleagues are now advocating with government officials for its full implementation.
"As a Latino gay man living with HIV, I know firsthand the fear and isolation of an HIV diagnosis and the service gaps that persist in communities of color and for disproportionately affected populations," Munar said. "But I've also benefited from world-class social support, information, and medical carelife-changing experiences that should be accessible to all, not just a few."
Early this year, the International AIDS Society selected Munar to serve on the 2012 International AIDS Conference Coordinating Committee, POZ Magazine named him one of its 100 most influential AIDS advocates, and Mayor Richard M. Daley inducted him into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame.
"I bring to my work a passion for social justice and commitment to improve the quality of life for everyone, regardless of their social status, obstacles, or circumstances," Munar said. "Faith that we can do better and compassion for others are the values that will continue to guide my work as an AIDS advocate."
Munar will become the fourth chief executive of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago in its 25-year history. Marcia Lipetz served as AFC's first chief executive from 1986 to 1991; Karen Fishman led AFC from 1991 to 1998; and Mark Ishaug has led the organization since 1998.
Read more about Munar's accomplishments at www.aidschicago.org/munar.