WASHINGTON, DC Today, President Obama announced the appointment of Douglas M. Brooks, MSW, as the Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy ( ONAP ). A leading HIV/AIDS policy expert, Douglas most recently served as Senior Vice President for Community, Health, and Public Policy at the Justice Resource Institute ( JRI ). As the Director of ONAP, he will lead the Administration's work to reduce new HIV infections, improve health outcomes for people living with HIV, and eliminate HIV 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," President Obama said. "I look forward to having him lead our efforts from the White House."
A component of the White House Domestic Policy Council, ONAP coordinates the ongoing implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and the HIV Care Continuum initiative, while working together with public and private partners to advance the federal response to HIV/AIDS. ONAP also works with the White House National Security Council, the State Department's Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, and international bodies to ensure that America's response to the global pandemic is fully integrated with prevention, care, and treatment efforts around the world. Through the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief ( PEPFAR ) initiative, the U.S. has made enormous progress in responding to the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, working with countries heavily impacted by HIV/AIDS to help expand access to treatment, care, and prevention.
Brooks, a person living with HIV, was most recently the Senior Vice President for Community, Health, and Public Policy at JRI , a health and human service agency based in Boston. He served as executive director of the Sidney Borum Jr. Community Health Center at JRI, has managed programs in urban and rural environments and has served as a consultant to domestic and international governments and non-governmental organizations assisting their efforts to serve populations living with and at greatest risk for HIV/AIDS. Brooks was a Visiting Fellow at the McCormack School Center for Social Policy at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and was Chair of the Board of Trustees of AIDS United in Washington, DC.
In 2010, Brooks was appointed to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS ( PACHA ) and served as its liaison to the CDC/HRSA Advisory Committee and successfully led those bodies to achieve the tasks assigned to them in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy . He has directly managed federally funded programs, meeting or exceeding targets for Ryan White projects, CDC Prevention for African American/Black youth, a HRSA Special Project of National Significance ( SPNS ), and a HOPWA SPNS. Brooks received a Master of Social Work degree from Boston University and is a licensed clinical social worker.
The AIDS Institute praises president Obama's choice to lead national AIDS office,
From a press release
Washington, DC - In reaction to the announcement today by the White House that President Obama has selected Douglas Brooks to lead the Office of National AIDS Policy, The AIDS Institute released the following statement:
The AIDS Institute praises President Obama for selecting Douglas Brooks to lead his White House Office of National AIDS Policy. 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. 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 (JRI) in Boston, Massachusetts.
The AIDS Institute looks forward to working with Douglas as we 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. We are confident Brooks possesses the leadership and passion to guide the White House through the next few years as we together aim to fulfill the President's desire to realize an AIDS-free generation.
What They're Saying: Douglas M. Brooks as the New Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy
Posted by Gautam Raghavan on March 25, 2014 at 06:20 PM EDT
After President Obama announced yesterday that Douglas M. Brooks, MSW, would lead the Office of National AIDS Policy, HIV/AIDS organizations from around the country announced their support. They echoed the President's words when he said, "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." Brooks, an openly gay African American man living with HIV, is a respected expert in the community whose distinct experiences will help further our goals of achieving an AIDS-free generation and improving the health of people living with HIV in the United States.
Here's what some HIV/AIDS organizations said about the President's announcement:
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research (New York, NY)
"We are eager to see strong leadership carry out the National HIV/AIDS Strategy's renewed focus on evidence-based policy and effective programming, especially with respect to populations hardest hit by AIDS in America, including gay men and other men who have sex with men, and African American and Latino men and women."
San Francisco AIDS Foundation (San Francisco, CA)
"Douglas is the right person at the right time to step into this role. As new infections increasingly concentrate in the African-American community, and especially among Black gay men, it is more important than ever that our young people see a future for themselves in the face of someone like Douglas so that they can harness their innate resilience to create healthy and successful lives."
AIDS United (Washington, DC)
"We have the opportunity to finally end the epidemic. I've been fortunate to work directly with Douglas, and have great confidence that he knows how to convene the right public and private partners to engage in the right conversations that will result in real progress."
National Minority AIDS Council (Washington, DC)
"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."
Lifelong AIDS Alliance (Seattle, WA)
"His tireless work to support the communities most greatly affected by HIV is steeped in compassion and personal commitment supported by epidemiological data. This appointment will help drive our common objective to end AIDS today and subsequently put a dent in HIV incidence within the United States and worldwide."
The AIDS Institute (Washington, DC)
"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. We are confident Brooks possesses the leadership and passion to guide the White House through the next few years as we together aim to fulfill the President's desire to realize an AIDS-free generation."
Gautam Raghavan is Associate Director with the White House Office of Public Engagement.