Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 11 / 15 March 2018

Ex-Obama official joins San Francisco AIDS Foundation board

Douglas Brooks

Douglas Brooks

Douglas Brooks, who served in the Obama administration as director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, has joined the San Francisco AIDS Foundation’s board of directors, the nonprofit announced Friday.

In comments emailed to the Bay Area Reporter, Brooks, who was ONAP director from 2014 until this year, said he joined the board because “The world is looking to San Francisco and San Francisco AIDS Foundation right now. San Francisco is poised to be the first city to end HIV transmission, and the foundation – together with its partners – is working to achieve that vision.”

SFAF has a key role in the Getting to Zero initiative, which seeks to reduce HIV transmissions and HIV-related deaths in the city by 90 percent before 2020.

Brooks, who’s gay, also said that he’s “inspired by the vision” of Joe Hollendoner, who became SFAF’s CEO this year.

“We’re both social workers by trade and share an understanding of the many social determinants of health that can marginalize members of our community and put them at risk for HIV,” Brooks said. “As we work to bring people in from the margins, not only do we improve health outcomes but we also create a more diverse, inclusive, and loving community.”

Hollendoner stated, “We must create a system of care where nobody slips through the cracks and everyone feels supported, regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, gender identity or socioeconomic status. I’m passionate about this work, and I know Douglas is too. I’m excited for him to bring his perspective both as a social worker and the country’s top HIV policy expert to the conversation.”

Philip Besirof, SFAF’s board chair, said, “We were inspired by Douglas’ work at the White House to expand the National HIV/AIDS Strategy to include disproportionately impacted communities such as young gay African American men and transgender women. We’re having similar conversations on the board and welcome his thoughtful approach and deep experience in this area.”

With a budget of $32 million and thousands of clients, SFAF is one of the largest AIDS-based organizations in the country.

Brooks, who recently moved to San Francisco, said he’s staying temporarily in the Mission Bay neighborhood (where he recommends the new Spark food truck park.)

— Seth Hemmelgarn, August 17, 2016 @ 2:44 pm PST
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