For the past 26 years, Marlene McNeese has played a leadership role in redefining public health and community-based support systems that address HIV prevention, chemical dependency, mental health, communicable disease, and post-incarceration syndrome. Earning her degree from the University of Houston-Clear Lake in behavioral science, Ms. McNeese has participated in research, demonstration, and evaluation projects that have improved service delivery systems.
Ms. McNeese is a passionate and dedicated advocate and champion of HIV prevention, and the trajectory of her career reflects her sense of commitment. She has extensive leadership experience with local and national advisory councils and boards, having served as past chair of the Houston Area Ryan White Planning Council, co-chair for the Houston HIV Prevention Community Planning Group, co-chair for the Urban Coalition of HIV/AIDS Prevention Services, and past board chair for NASTAD and board member of the Black AIDS Institute.
In 2004, Ms. McNeese began her tenure with the Houston Department of Health serving as Program Manager and Chief for the Bureau of HIV/STD and Viral Hepatitis Prevention. She went on to serve as the Assistant Director for the Division of Disease Control and Prevention. In that role, she was responsible for administering an annual operating budget of $37 million in federal and state grants, special funds, and Texas 1115 Medicaid waiver projects for the Bureaus of Laboratory Services, Epidemiology, Public Health Informatics, HIV/STD, Tuberculosis Control, and Public Health Preparedness. Marlene is currently serving as the Deputy Assistant Director for Intergovernmental Affairs as well as Community and Children’s Environmental Health. Under her leadership at HHD, significant growth and improvements have occurred, including publication of program effectiveness in peer-reviewed journals, creation of quality standards for prevention services, and the doubling of the annual operating budget to support community-based programs.
John Wiesman is a Professor of the Practice at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health where he also serves as the Director of the Executive Doctoral Program in Health Leadership. He teaches courses in health policy, advocacy, leadership, and management. Prior to this, Dr. Wiesman served as the Washington State Secretary of Health for 7 years, which included leading the response to the nation's initial case of COVID-19. He also has 22 years of local governmental public health experience having worked in four local health departments in Connecticut and Washington state. He started his public health career in Connecticut in 1986 and was in the state’s first group trained to provide HIV counseling and testing services.
During his career Dr. Wiesman has transformed health departments from providing individual clinical services to implementing policy, system, and environmental changes promoting prevention that make healthy choices easier and less expensive; transformed Clark County (WA) Public Health and the Department of Health into first responder organizations; and helped lead Washington State’s initiatives to transform the health delivery system to improve population health, known as Healthier Washington. Additionally, he and his team at the Washington State Department of Health have provided leadership for implementing End AIDS Washington, decriminalizing HIV in Washington statute, being the first state in the nation providing pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) with state funds, creating a gender X option on birth certificates, identifying and funding foundational public health services, implementing the Governor’s executive order reducing suicides and preventing firearm injuries and deaths, and addressing the public health impacts of climate change.
Dr. Wiesman served as the President of both the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). He also serves as a clinical professor at the University of Washington’s School of Public Health in the Department of Health Services.
He earned his doctor of public health (DrPH) in public health executive leadership in 2012 from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He received his master of public health (MPH) in chronic disease epidemiology from Yale University in 1987, and his bachelor of arts (BA) in biology from Lawrence University in Wisconsin in 1983.
John and his husband reside in Durham, North Carolina.
Mr. Alton, former Chief Patient officer at Gilead Sciences, lead patient outreach and engagement initiatives and the company’s efforts to facilitate access to its medicines around the world. He oversaw the corporate and medical affairs functions and developing world access programs, as well as its digital patient solutions and patient-centered outcomes groups and commercial operations in certain countries.
Mr. Alton joined Gilead in 1999 and held a number of positions at the company with experience in legal, medical affairs, policy and commercial. He previously served as general counsel.
Prior to joining Gilead, he was an attorney at the law firm of Cooley Godward, LLP, where he specialized in mergers and acquisitions, corporate partnerships and corporate finance transactions for healthcare and information technology companies.
Mr. Alton is a member of the Board of Directors of the AIDS Institute, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Oakland, and the Partners in Health Board of Trustees. He also serves on the advisory boards for UCSF Global Health Group, USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics and the UC Berkeley College of Letters & Science. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Collidion, Inc. While at Gilead, Mr. Alton served on the U.S. government's Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Intellectual Property Rights.
Mr. Alton received a bachelor's degree in legal studies from the University of California at Berkeley and a law degree from Stanford University.
Mr. Chacón’s work focuses on promoting access to care, addressing stigma, and developing agendas on health policy issues affecting the health of Hispanics. Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed Guillermo Chacón to serve on the New York State Vaccine Equity Taskforce in 2020 and the New York State AIDS Advisory Council, and re-nominated him for the New York State Minority Health Council to serve until 2023, for which the New York State Senate later confirmed him in July 2020. Mr. Chacón was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio to serve as commissioner on the New York City Commission on Human Rights in November 2019, to the HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA) community advisory board, and to the Committee on New York City Healthcare Services. Mr. Chacon also serves on various boards and committees, including the New York City COVID-19 Vaccine, Test & Tracing (VT2) program as part of Community Advisory Committee (CAB T2); the National Hispanic/Latinx Health Leadership Network; the New York Immigration Coalition; and the New York City AIDS Memorial. He also serves as an advisor for Alianza Americas and AIDSVu.org, and co-chairs the Latino Jewish Coalition in New York.
Mr. Chacón was born in El Salvador and is currently living in New York. He studied education at the National University of El Salvador and attended Fordham University in the Organizational & Leadership Program.
Juliet K. Choi is the president and Chief Executive Officer of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF), a national health justice organization which influences policy, mobilizes communities, and strengthens programs and organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.
She is an accomplished cross-sector leader and coalition builder who specializes in change management, system reform, and stakeholder relations, particularly in the areas of immigration, civil rights, healthcare and disaster relief.
A senior executive, she served in the Obama administration as the former chief of staff and senior advisor of two federal agencies: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; and the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to her political appointments, she led disaster relief operations and strategic partnerships at the American Red Cross as a member of the disaster leadership team.
She has previously worked at the Partnership for Public Service, Asian American Justice Center, Mental Health America, and a Fortune 500 corporation. Juliet received her law school’s Alumni Association Award for Leadership and Character and Rising Star Alumnus Award. Currently, she serves on the boards of the NAPABA Law Foundation, national YWCA USA, and on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission on Data Modernization.
A certified mediator, Juliet received her J.D. from University of Maryland School of Law and clerked for the Hon. Dennis M. Sweeney (ret.) of the Circuit Court for Howard County, Maryland. She received her B.A. in Economics from University of Virginia.
Tori Cooper is a Health & Equity Consultant, CDC subject matter expert, educator, published author, and leader in the transgender and HIV communities who recently was honored as one of the most influential LGBTQ Georgians by OUT Georgia in 2020. She leads with more than 30 years of experience at all levels of HIV service, from volunteer roles to her role as executive director and founder of her own consulting agency, Advocates for Better Care Atlanta, LLC. She now serves as the Human Rights Campaign’s Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative. In this role, her focus includes economic empowerment, capacity building programs, public safety, and expanding public education campaigns.
Raniyah Copeland is a seasoned public health and racial justice expert who has aligned her personal values and career path to elevating Black Americans towards liberation. She is a co-founder and Principal of Equity & Impact Solutions, a consulting practice that provides strategic advising and support to companies and organizations in efforts to advance racial and gender equity.
Previously, Copeland led the nation’s only HIV ‘think and do tank’ that is exclusively focused on ending the HIV epidemic in Black America, the Black AIDS Institute. Under her leadership, the Black AIDS Institute (BAI) released “We The People: A Black Strategy to End HIV,” which was driven by community input and has been adopted by HIV efforts across the country. In 2021, BAI is launching We The People’s federal and community action plans to drive towards the end of HIV by communities most impacted by HIV. Under Copeland’s nearly three-year CEO tenure at BAI, she led an unprecedented increase in organizational vitality, doubling revenue and ramping up staff nearly three-fold in under 3 years.
Starting in 2008, Raniyah worked her way up through the BAI’s ranks, serving as the institution’s Training and Capacity Building Coordinator, Manager, and Director of Programs, before taking charge as President and CEO in 2019. In her previous role as Director of Programs, she was the organization’s chief HIV prevention and treatment expert. In that role, she managed all HIV programs, including BAI’s Los Angeles-based direct HIV services and national programs like the Black Treatment Advocates Network (BTAN) and the African American HIV University (AAHU). As the CEO, Raniyah secured the organization’s largest funding source to re-launch AAHU’s 2021-2022 curriculum, which will build Black HIV leaders in science and community mobilization.
Deeply committed to the Black community even before joining BAI, Copeland worked at Planned Parenthood in Pasadena as a Health Educator, promoting healthy sexual choices and conducting HIV and STI testing and counseling. She also provided comprehensive case management and transitional support to homeless clients while coordinating temporary placements of clients in her role as a Crisis Case Manager. She served as the Executive Director of the Black Recruitment and Retention Center managing the joint effort between students and the University of California, Berkeley to increase and retain Black students in the UC System. She is also a co-founder of the Afrikan Black Coalition, a statewide organization for Black students. She’s a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Mrs. Copeland’s education has been rooted in public health and Black studies. She attended the University of California, Berkeley, for Public Health and African American Studies. She is also a proud HBCU alum from Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science where she earned a master’s in urban public health and has built a career that exemplifies CDU’s mission to create health equity.
In 2021, Raniyah was appointed to the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) where she serves with the largest number of Black women in the council’s history. She also serves on the LA County Division of HIV & STD Programs Ending The HIV Epidemic Steering Committee in Los Angeles, which is a priority jurisdiction for federal governments Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative. In 2019, she was named one of “The Root’s 100 Most Influential African Americans.”
Raniyah lives in South LA with her two young children and husband.
Alicia Diggs is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who now resides in North Carolina. She has a bachelor’s degree in Social Work, a master’s degree in Public Health, and has completed doctoral courses for a PhD in Public Health. Ms. Diggs works for the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s Center for AIDS Research (UNC-CFAR) as the Manager for the Office of Community Engagement.
She became an HIV/AIDS activist, educator, and speaker in 2004. She has spoken for various organizations who provide services for persons living with HIV in North Carolina such as Piedmont Health Services and Sickle Cell Agency, Guilford County Health Department, and Triad Health Project. She is a member of the REPRIEVE clinical trial Community Advisory Board and Publications Committee, a North Carolina Leader for Black AIDS Institute's Black Treatment Advocates Network (BTAN), the North Carolina State Lead for the Positive Women's Network-USA, PLWH Caucus, a member of the Wake Forest Baptist Health ANCHOR Study Community Advisory Board, a member of the HIV Prevention Community Advisory Council (HPCAP), a member of the National Community Advisory Board (NCAB) for the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), a member of SisterLove’s 2020 Leading Women’s Society, and a participant of “I’m Still Surviving,” a living women’s history of HIV/AIDS.
Ms. Diggs has spoken at area schools, community health events, conferences, and churches as well as appeared on several news and radio stations and BETs Rap It Up Campaign. She is also the CEO and Founder of I Will Live, whose goal is to help the community understand the importance of STD and STI prevention, advocating against stigma and discrimination and for knowing your HIV status by getting tested, as well as for living healthy and productive lives through empowerment and education. Ms. Diggs became a published author July of 2017 of an autobiography entitled Standing On My Healing: From Tainted To Chosen.
Dr. Vincent Guilamo-Ramos is Dean and Professor of the Duke University School of Nursing and Vice Chancellor for Nursing Affairs, Duke University. He is also the founding director of the Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health (CLAFH) at Duke University.
Prior to his appointment as Dean in July 2021, Dr. Guilamo-Ramos was a tenured professor at New York University (NYU) from 2010-2021, holding faculty appointments in nursing, public health, and social work. He was also a tenured professor at Columbia University prior to joining NYU. Dr. Guilamo-Ramos is a nurse practitioner dually licensed in primary care (ANP-BC) and psychiatric-mental health nursing (PMHNP-BC) and he is credentialed as an HIV Specialist (AAHIVS) by the American Academy of HIV Medicine.
Widely regarded as an expert, scholar, and leader in adolescent and young adult sexual and reproductive health promotion, Dr. Guilamo Ramos’ research has been funded externally for two decades by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Center for Disease Control (CDC), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and various federal agencies. His research focuses on the role of families in promoting adolescent and young adult health among Latinos and in other underserved communities, with a special focus on preventing HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, and improving care outcomes for youth receiving HIV prevention and care services. He has published extensively in leading scientific journals, including: The Lancet Infectious Diseases, The Lancet HIV, Clinical Infectious Diseases, JAMA Pediatrics, Pediatrics, and the American Journal of Public Health. Dr. Guilamo-Ramos’ research and scholarship has led to coverage in well-known media sources such as The New York Times, NPR, and The Washington Post.
Dr. Guilamo-Ramos currently serves as a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA), the HHS Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents, the CDC/HRSA Advisory Committee on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and STD Prevention and Treatment. He also serves on the Latino Commission on AIDS Board of Directors as vice chair, the Power to DecideBoard of Directors, and the Ending the HIV Epidemic Working Group of the HIV Medicine Association as co-chair.
In addition to master’s degrees in management, social work and public health from NYU, Dr. Guilamo-Ramos holds a Ph.D. from SUNY-Albany School of Social Welfare and a Master of Science in Nursing from Duke University School of Nursing.
Dr. Jen Kates is Senior Vice President and Director of Global Health & HIV Policy at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation), where she oversees policy analysis and research focused on the U.S. government’s role in global health and on the global and domestic HIV epidemics. Widely regarded as an expert in the field, she regularly publishes and presents on global health and HIV policy issues and is particularly known for her work analyzing donor government investments in global health; assessing and mapping the U.S. government’s global health architecture, programs, and funding; and tracking and analyzing major U.S. HIV programs and financing, and key trends in the HIV epidemic, an area she has been working in for close to 30 years. Prior to joining KFF in 1998, Dr. Kates was a Senior Associate with The Lewin Group, a health care consulting firm, where she focused on HIV policy, strategic planning/health systems analysis, and health care for vulnerable populations. Among other prior positions, she directed the Office of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Concerns at Princeton University.
Dr. Kates has served on numerous federal and private sector advisory committees on global health and HIV issues, including PEPFAR’s Scientific Advisory Board, the NIH Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council, the CDC/HRSA Advisory Committee on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and STD Prevention and Treatment (CHACHSPT), the board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the Governing Council of the International AIDS Society. She is also a lecturer at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Dr. Kates received her Ph.D. in Health Policy from George Washington University. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College, a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts.
Marc Meachem has been part of the fight against HIV/AIDS for more than a decade. A skilled advocate, strategist, and valued member of the HIV community, Mr. Meachem is dedicated to creating sustainable programs with the community, focusing on education and access to care for all people living with HIV.
As head of External Affairs for North America at ViiV Healthcare, Mr. Meachem directs all U.S. external public affairs activities. He is committed to grounding the work in deep insights based on the lives of people living with and affected by HIV. He has designed and launched initiatives to address the unmet needs of disproportionately affected populations, including ViiV Healthcare's Positive Action Southern Initiative, Positive Action for Women, the ACCELERATE! Initiative, and the Youth Scholars Program with NMAC.
Mr. Meacham has received a number of accolades from community including a “Heroes in the Struggle Award” by the Black AIDS Institute, the Angel Award from Gay Men of African Descent, Inc., and a Corporate Leader Award from Iris House.
With more than two decades of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Mr. Meacham has held leadership roles in various therapeutic areas across commercial development, marketing, and communications. He earned a B.A. in French language and literature and a B.S. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.B.A. from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
Dr. Moore is the Medical Director for Clinic Services at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. In this role, he oversees eight public health centers throughout the county that specialize in HIV prevention, sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis, and refugee health. He is a practicing internal medicine physician who provides STD screening and treatment, HIV prevention, and tuberculosis care. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Moore has overseen COVID-19 testing at outbreak locations and mobile vaccination teams providing vaccinations at skilled nursing facilities, faith-based organizations, local businesses, and recreational events.
Dr. Moore is a medical graduate of Morehouse School of Medicine. He completed his residency in Primary Care Internal Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine, and is an alumnus of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, through which he completed his Master of Science in Health Policy and Management at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Moore is a thought leader who is committed to ending the HIV epidemic in the United States, with a focus on Black and Latinx communities. He has presented at multiple conferences and advised various governmental and non-governmental agencies, including but not limited to, the United States Conference on AIDS, the CDC HIV Prevention Conference, the HIV Adherence Conference, National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and the National Alliance for State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD).
Rafaelé Narváez co-founded Latinos Salud in 2008 to create a safe space for Latino gay men and their partners to find friends, support, and resources. Latinos Salud provides client-centered, culturally-competent health education and integrated preventive, screening, and linkage services throughout South Florida in order to reduce the burden of communicable diseases and improve health outcomes. Today, Latinos Salud operates three full-time locations to maximize its reach throughout South Florida, offering both appointment and walk-in services five days a week in Wilton Manors, Miami Beach, and Miami Southwest as well as mobile outreach and testing. From peer leadership to one-on-one life coaching, Latinos Salud’s diverse programs serve thousands of people every year.
Mr. Narváez’s directs 27 staff members implementing biomedical and behavioral interventions. Additionally, he is the community representative for Area 10 on the Broward County HIV Prevention Planning Council where he helps ensure accurate data collection, scrubbing, and validation for EvalWeb, Provide Enterprise, and agency’s customized database. In 2010, Mr. Narváez received the Florida Hispanic HIV Leadership Award for Outreach and Prevention.
Laura Platero is citizen of the Navajo Nation currently living in Portland, Oregon. Ms. Platero has spent at least 20 years serving tribes and the American Indian community in various advocacy roles. She is currently the Executive Director of the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB), a Public Law 93-638 and non-profit organization with 70 staff. NPAIHB serves the 43 federally-recognized tribes of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.
Ms. Platero served as NPAIHB’s Director of Government Affairs from 2016 to 2019. From 2014 to 2016, she served as a Legislative Associate at the National Congress of American Indians focused on implementing the Affordable Care Act to ensure that the federal trust responsibility was upheld. In 2013, she served as a consultant, nationally, working with tribal organizations and advocates in health policy analysis and advocacy. From 2008 to 2013, she worked in the General Counsel/Government Relations Office at the Laguna Development Corporation, a tribal corporation of the Pueblo of Laguna.
Her passion for Native health was instilled while working as Deputy Director of the National Native American AIDS Prevention Center (NNAAPC). NNAAPC was the heart of HIV prevention, treatment, training and resources for American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities and two spirit people.
Ms. Platero earned a Juris Doctor Degree with a Certificate in Indian Law from the University of New Mexico, was the Managing Editor of the of the Indian Law Journal; and received the Mary Beth & W. Richard West, Jr. Award for Excellence in Indian Law. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of Southern California.
Ms. Kayla Quimbley is a youth activist who works to combat HIV stigma, decriminalize HIV, and raise awareness online and in communities. She is also a member of Advocates for Youth’s Engaging Communities around HIV Organizing (ECHO) program that uses a social justice framework to shift culture and policy by elevating the voices of young people living with HIV. ECHO leaders work to increase the inclusion of young people living with HIV in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of reproductive justice related programming and policies, especially on issues of LGBTQ health and rights, immigrant rights, and sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Ms. Quimbley is not only an activist, but she is also a traveling poet, working to raise awareness through her words using her platform.
Michael Saag is the principal investigator (PI) of the Centers for AIDS Research (CFAR) Network of Integrated Clinical Systems (CNICS), a NIAID-funded national network of EMR-collected clinical data at eight CFAR centers that are merged for the purposes of clinical research. He is the founding director of the UAB 1917 HIV Clinic, which has pioneered treatment programs based on real-world clinical trials and studies focused on quality improvement in the area of HIV. Dr. Saag serves as Co-PI of the NA-ACCORD, an international collaboration of more than 30 sites that merge data for comparative effectiveness research, and has also served on the executive steering committee of the ART-CC, an international cohort research group.
Dr. Saag has served on the board of directors of the American Board of Internal Medicine (and as chair of the Infectious Disease Subspecialty Board) and the NIH Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council. He is the past president of the HIV Medical Association, a member (and current chair) of the IAS-USA Guidelines Panel on Antiretroviral Therapy, a prior co-chair of the AASLD/IDSA/IAS-USA HCV Treatment Guidelines group, and serves on numerous state, local, and national committees. Dr. Saag is a member of the HHS CDC-HRSA Advisory Committee on HIV, Viral Hepatitis, and STD Prevention and Treatment (CHAC).
He is the co-editor of the Sanford Guide for Antimicrobial Therapy and the Sanford HIV and Hepatitis Guide. In 1996, he was listed as one of the top ten cited HIV researchers by Science (1996) and received eight Argus Awards for Best Lectures to the first year medical students at UAB since 2009. In 2014, he was selected as the Castle-Connelly Physician of the Year and was inducted into the Alabama Healthcare Hall of Fame. In 2014, Dr. Saag published his memoir, Positive: One Doctor’s Encounters with Death, Life, and the US Healthcare System.
Since his HIV diagnosis in 1989, Mr. Sapero has been a leader in local and national HIV planning, education, service delivery, and advocacy. As the Director of Ending the HIV Epidemic initiatives for Collaborative Research LLC, he works with public health entities and community-based organizations to implement locally tailored, high-impact HIV prevention and care programming. Previously, Mr. Sapero served as the Office Chief of the HIV Prevention Program for the Arizona Department of Health Services. In this role, he co-authored Victory Over HIV, Arizona’s audacious plan to end the local HIV epidemic, and received national recognition for several innovative initiatives, including wide-scale distribution of free HIV self-test kits, streamlining entry to care timeframes for newly-diagnosed individuals from 26 days to less than 8 days, free condom distribution via mail, and presenting award-winning social media/marketing campaigns. Mr. Sapero is a former Vice Chair of the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), and is the most recent past Chair of the Phoenix EMA Ryan White Planning Council.
Carl Schmid has been a national policy and advocacy leader in the HIV community for over 20 years. He spent 16 years with The AIDS Institute, where he served as its Deputy Executive Director and led the Institute’s HIV and viral hepatitis federal policy work before the executive agencies and the Congress.
In December 2019, he left The AIDS Institute to form the HIV + Hepatitis Policy Institute, which promotes quality and affordable healthcare for people living with or at risk of HIV, hepatitis, or other serious and chronic health conditions. Mr. Schmid helps lead the HIV and hepatitis communities’ advocacy efforts in Washington, DC, to ensure domestic HIV and hepatitis programs—including the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative, the Ryan White Program, CDC HIV and hepatitis prevention programs, and NIH AIDS Research—are based on sound public policy and fully funded.
He has expertise in health care financing systems, including Medicaid and Medicare, and leads efforts to ensure that Affordable Care Act meets the needs of people living with or at risk of HIV and hepatitis. As part of HIV + Hep’s work in advocating for people with HIV and hepatitis, Mr. Schmid works extensively with other patient and disease groups on collective efforts to ensure that patients, particularly those with chronic conditions, have access to quality and affordable health care, including prescription medications. Mr. Schmid served as a consumer representative to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2018-19. In July 2019, he was appointed to the PEPFAR Scientific Advisory Board.
He was a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS from 2007-09 and chaired its Domestic Subcommittee. In 2010, he was named by POZ Magazine as one of the 100 most effective AIDS fighters and by Whitman-Walker Health as one of the 25 individuals who have played prominent roles in the fight against HIV in DC. In 2016, he was named the Champion of the Year by the ADAP Advocacy Association.
Mr. Schmid earned a Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs and a Master in Business Administration in International Affairs from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He and his husband, Alejandro Barrera, reside in Washington, D.C.
Adrian Shanker is an experienced health policy leader with a focus on LGBTQ health promotion, barriers to care, and health equity. He is the founding Executive Director of Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown Pennsylvania, a fast-growing and high-impact LGBT community-based organization. Mr. Shanker also serves in two capacities in Governor Tom Wolf’s administration, as Commissioner and Health Committee Co-Chair of the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs and as Commissioner on the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. He previously served as President of Equality Pennsylvania for three years during the fight for marriage equality and as a member of the Advisory Board to the Office of Health Equity at Pennsylvania Department of Health.
Mr. Shanker administered data collection for the 2015, 2018, and 2020 Pennsylvania LGBT Health Needs Assessments and he is editor of the critically acclaimed anthology Bodies and Barriers: Queer Activists on Health (PM Press, 2020). He earned a graduate certificate in LGBT Health Policy & Practice from The George Washington University and a B.A., cum laude, in Political Science and Religion Studies from Muhlenberg College. The media outlet City and State Pennsylvania included Mr. Shanker in their 2021 Pennsylvania Healthcare Power 100 list, and he has been named a “Healthcare Hero” by Lehigh Valley Business and twice named “Person of the Year” by Philadelphia Gay News.
Justin Smith is the Director of the Campaign to End AIDS at Positive Impact Health Centers, where he works with community partners to develop and implement strategies to bring about an end to the HIV epidemic in Metro Atlanta.
For the last 20 years, Mr. Smith has worked in a variety of capacities in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) health and HIV research, focusing primarily on improving our understanding of the social determinants of HIV among marginalized communities in the United States, particularly Black gay and bisexual men. While working in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, he helped launch and manage the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System for Young Men who Have Sex with Men. This project sought to improve our understanding of the determinants of HIV risk behaviors and HIV incidence among young men who have sex with men (ages 13-18 years). He also worked in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, as the coordinator for Strength Through Youth Livin’ Empowered (STYLE). This HRSA-funded initiative provided HIV testing and linkage to HIV care for young Black and Latino men who have sex with men who are living with HIV. Through STYLE, Mr. Smith facilitated support groups for young gay and bisexual men living with HIV, and he also organized an HIV testing campaign on college campuses across North Carolina that helped thousands of young people learn their HIV status. Mr. Smith received additional training in state and local HIV policy at the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, and in LGBTQ health at the Fenway Institute. Mr. Smith’s HIV research has been published in some of the leading academic journals in public health, and he has presented frequently at national and international conferences addressing HIV.
Through conducting public health work rooted in an analytic framework informed by critical race theory and intersectionality, Mr. Smith hopes to understand—and help to change—the distal structural determinants of health that pattern HIV risk and other poor health outcomes, particularly for Black gay and bisexual men.
Mr. Smith holds an MS in Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences from Emory University, an MPH in Health Behavior from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an AB in Sociology and Community Health from Brown University.
Dr. Stewart is a family physician and is a member of the board of directors of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), and recently elected as President-Elect. The AAFP represents 134,600 physicians and medical students nationwide. As an AAFP board member, Dr. Stewart advocates on behalf of family physicians and patients nationwide to inspire positive change in the U.S. health care system.
Dr. Stewart has been a practicing family physician with the Eau Clair Cooperative Health Centers (now Cooperative Health) since 2012 and currently serves as lead provider and HIV specialist. In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, Dr. Stewart enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves and currently holds the rank of Colonel. She is a preceptor for nurse practitioners, medical residents, and medical students, and has received numerous awards, including the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award for her precepting at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.
A member of the AAFP since 1995, Dr. Stewart has served in several leadership positions at the state and national levels. She has also served on numerous commissions and committees, most recently as a member of the AAFP Commission on Health of the Public and Science, and past chair of the commission’s Tobacco Prevention and Control Advisory Committee. Dr. Stewart was convener for the AAFP National Conference of Special Constituencies in 2010 and the New Physician delegate to the AAFP Congress of Delegates in 2004. In addition, she served as Alternate Delegate to AAFP Congress of Delegates in 2014 and Delegate to the Congress in 2015. As a member of the American Medical Association, Dr. Stewart served as AAFP resident delegate to the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Resident and Fellow Section, and was chair of the AMA Minority Affairs Consortium Governing Council. Dr. Stewart is also a member of the American Academy of HIV Medicine, the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine, the National Medical Association, and the American Women’s Medical Association.
Born and raised in an underserved urban area of Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. Stewart has committed her career to ensuring uninsured and low-income families have access to high quality health care. She began her career as a National Health Service Corps scholar, caring for underserved patients in rural South Carolina. She continues to work with underserved communities in both rural and urban settings. From 2003 to 2012, Stewart served as chief medical officer and HIV specialist at the Richland Community Health Care Association in Eastover and Columbia, South Carolina. She was recognized in 2017 for her dedicated service in hepatitis C treatment and prevention by the South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council. She was recognized in April 2018 by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. Columbia (South Carolina) Chapter with the Health Award, recognizing her contributions to the health of the community there in Columbia, SC.
Dr. Darrell Wheeler has served as Iona College's provost and senior vice president for academic affairs since July 1, 2018. Previously, he was Dean of the School of Social Welfare and Vice President for Public Engagement at the University at Albany, SUNY; Dean of the School of Social Work at Loyola University Chicago; and has held academic positions at Hunter College, Columbia University, and the University of North Carolina – Greensboro.
Dr. Wheeler has more than 30 years of research and community partnership experience in health disparities research, with extensive scholarly work with local and national Black men who have sex with men (MSM) communities. His research interests include behavioral and social science investigations of risk and resilience factors associated with HIV infection and transmissions. He has led significant HIV prevention and intervention studies including serving as protocol co-chair for HPTN 061 (a study to explore the feasibility of a peer health navigation intervention with Black MSM); protocol chair for HPTN 073, the study of Black MSM and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) from 2012-2015; and Principal Investigator for both Black Men Evolving (B-ME), a study evaluating locally developed homegrown HIV prevention interventions, and NIH/NCHHSTP U01 PS001574, a randomized clinical trial evaluating a behavioral intervention for effectiveness to reduce sexual risk behaviors, (e.g. un-protected sex) among sexually-active African American MSM. While at the University at Albany, he was Co-PI on the NIMHD S21 Health Disparities Research Capacity and Resources grant, “Endowment for Community-Based Health Disparities Research and Training,” administered at UAlbany’s Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities (CEMHD)—a previous NIMHD-funded P20 and R24 Center. Dr. Wheeler currently serves on the Executive Management Committee of the HIV Prevention Trials Network; co-chairs the HIV Prevention Trial Networks HPTN Scholars Program, a program that has become a model for other mentoring programs to foster career development among underrepresented minority scholars; and is on the Board of Directors for the NASW Assurance Services Incorporated.
Dr. Wheeler has worked to promote the engagement and success of underrepresented minorities in HIV prevention sciences. His research, teaching, and community engagement work has demonstrated a deep understanding of the use of data and evidence in developing innovative programs and policy initiatives especially related to health with marginalized and oppressed groups.
Liaison: CDC / HRSA Advisory Committee on HIV, Viral Hepatitis, and STD Prevention and Treatment
Wendy Armstrong received her MD from Harvard Medical School and completed her Internal Medicine residency and Infectious Diseases (ID) fellowship at the University of Michigan. From 2001-2007, she was Co-Director of the HIV/AIDS Center at the Cleveland Clinic. She joined the Emory University Division of Infectious Disease in 2007 and is now Professor of Medicine, Associate Division Director for ID, Vice Chair of Education and Integration for the Department of Medicine, Fellowship Program Director and Executive Medical Director of the Ponce de Leon Center, Infectious Diseases Program (IDP) at Grady Health System. The IDP is a Ryan White funded program that provides comprehensive care to more than 6,000 persons living with HIV in the Atlanta metro area.
Dr. Armstrong is a past chair of the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) and is currently the HIVMA representative to the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) Board of Directors. She is the HIVMA Chair of the IDWeek Program Committee and is a member of the CDC/HRSA Advisory Committee on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and STD Prevention and Treatment. In Atlanta, she has been active in local advocacy efforts, is the former co-chair of the Fulton County Task Force on HIV/AIDS and was named the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “Healthcare Hero” Physician of the Year in 2016.
B. Kaye Hayes, MPA, serves as the Acting Director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP) and the Executive Director of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). In this leadership role, she is responsible for vaccines/immunization, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, sexually transmitted infections, blood and tissue safety and availability, and tick-borne diseases. She also provides oversight for five Departmental advisory councils and workgroups. Prior to her current role, Ms. Hayes served as the Principal Deputy Director of OIDP and Executive Director of PACHA.
Before her appointment with PACHA in 2012, Ms. Hayes served as the Acting Deputy Director and Senior Advisor for Policy for the HHS Office on Women's Health (OWH). Among her responsibilities were the formulation of budget, performance, and policy initiatives for OWH, as well as management improvement and strategic planning.
Before joining OWH, Ms. Hayes was Special Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Health and 16th Surgeon General and served as a Policy Advisor with the Surgeon General on the health and medical team to assess the critical health needs after the U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. She also worked as the Extramural Community Liaison for the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where she developed and strengthened national, State, and local organizational partnerships including business, labor, faith community, entertainment, and other nontraditional health partnerships. While at CDC, her career included assignments with CNN Medical News as a producer and health policy advisor with the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues where she worked on the Women's Health Equity Act and health care reform.
Ms. Hayes received her bachelor's degree in rhetoric and communication studies from the University of Virginia and a master's degree in public administration from Georgia State University, with a concentration in strategic management and human resource management. While in graduate school, she was inducted into Pi Alpha Alpha National Honor Society and she was selected as a Presidential Management Fellow and completed her 2-year assignment at CDC in the National AIDS Information and Education Program.
She is proud to have provided advice, counsel and implemented one of the most successful and longest running public education and prevention campaigns for HIV/AIDS—American Responds to AIDS and Business Responds to AIDS.
Ms. Talev is a Public Health Analyst for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP) within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH). Currently, she serves as the committee manager for the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA), a federal advisory committee that provides advice, information, and recommendations to the Secretary of HHS regarding HIV prevention, treatment and care. PACHA has a unique opportunity to contribute to the Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America (EHE) Initiative, and Ms. Talev is honored to be a part of this historic effort. She has assisted with coordinating the “PACHA-to-the-People” meetings, where PACHA convenes outside of Washington, D.C., to have an opportunity to meaningfully engage with those most affected by HIV to help ensure the goals of the EHE initiative are achieved. She previously helped coordinate PACHA’s HIV Stigma Reduction Summit, PACHA'S Achieving an AIDS-Free Generation report, and served as a member of the White House's Office of National AIDS Policy special task force on Employment and People Living with HIV/AIDS.
Ms. Talev began her work with HHS in 2012 at the Office on Women's Health, where she focused on health issues pertaining to women and girls. Prior, she served as a Policy Fellow at the American Association of University Women, a national grassroots organization to improve the lives of women and their families. Additionally, Ms. Talev was an advocacy research fellow at All Women's Action Society (AWAM) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. At AWAM, she focused on policy issues striving for a democratic and equitable society where women are free from all forms of violence and discrimination. Ms. Talev received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Central Florida and her Master in Public Administration from American University. She is also a certified spin instructor where she aims to make her class feel like a party while working up a sweat.