Carl Schmid has been with The AIDS Institute, a national nonpartisan, public policy, advocacy research, and education organization that advocates for people with HIV and viral hepatitis, since February 2004. He leads the Institute’s federal policy work before the executive agencies and the Congress.
Mr. Schmid helps lead the HIV and hepatitis communities’ advocacy efforts in Washington, DC, to ensure domestic HIV and hepatitis programs, including the Ryan White Program, CDC HIV and hepatitis prevention programs, and NIH AIDS research, are based on sound public policy and fully funded. He is a Convening Group member of the Federal AIDS Policy Partnership and co-chairs its AIDS Budget and Appropriations Coalition. He has expertise in health care financing systems, including Medicaid and Medicare, and led efforts to ensure that Affordable Care Act implementation meets the needs of people living with or at risk of HIV and hepatitis. In July 2019, he was appointed to the PEPFAR Scientific Advisory Board.
As part of the Institute’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. In January 2018, Mr. Schmid was appointed as a consumer representative to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
He was a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS from 2007-2009 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 B.A. in Public Affairs and a M.B.A. in International Affairs from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He and his husband, Alejandro Barrera, reside in Washington, D.C.
John Wiesman was appointed secretary of health by Governor Jay Inslee and joined the Department of Health in April 2013. Dr. Wiesman has more than 22 years of local public health experience and focuses on whole systems approaches to improving health. He has worked in four local public health departments in Washington and Connecticut and now serves as the Washington State Secretary of Health. He started his public health career in Connecticut in 1986 and was in its 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 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, major efforts now underway at the Department of Health under his leadership include: End AIDS Washington, developing the Healthiest Next Generation, 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 serves as the immediate past president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and chairs the association’s Government Relations Committee.
He also serves as a clinical professor at the University of Washington, School of Public Health, Department of Health Services and recently, he received an adjunct faculty appointment at The Evergreen State College where he is teaching a Public Health Policy Class. From 2013- 2018, Dr. Wiesman was an adjunct assistant professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Gillings School of Global Public Health, Health Policy and Management where he taught Public Health Ethics in the DrPH program.
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 Tacoma, Washington.
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.
Wendy Commins Holman is the CEO and founder of Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on developing treatments and diagnostics for underserved patient populations primarily in pediatric orphan and emerging infectious diseases. Ridgeback is partnered with NIAID's Vaccine Research Center to develop mAb114 - a late stage experimental treatment for Ebola Zaire.
Prior to founding Ridgeback in 2015, Ms. Holman was a principal at Ziff Brothers Investments and director of research at ZBI Equities, a multi-billion dollar public equity investment fund. She spent 15 years guiding investments in healthcare and novel technologies, holding various positions during her tenure, including healthcare sector head.
Ms. Holman is a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). PACHA provides advice, information, and recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services regarding programs, policies, and research to promote effective treatment, prevention and cure of HIV disease and AIDS. Ms. Holman is a Trustee for the Sabin Vaccine Institute and serves on its Research and Development Committee. Sabin’s mission is to make vaccines more accessible, enable innovation and expand immunization across the globe. Ms. Holman serves on the Penn Libraries Board of Overseers and is the campaign chair for the University of Pennsylvania’s new Biotech Commons. In addition, Ms. Holman is a Trustee for the Ransom Everglades School in Miami, Florida and serves on the Endowment Oversight committee for St. Stephens Episcopal Day School in Coconut Grove, Fl.
Ms. Holman earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics degree the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. She lives in Miami, FL with her husband, four children and pound puppy “Happy.”
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.
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.
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.
John Sapero currently serves as the Office Chief, HIV Prevention Program for the Arizona Department of Health Services. As Office Chief, Mr. Sapero authored Arizona’s plan to end HIV in the state, making him a leader in the country. Mr. Sapero previously served as the program manager for the Ryan White Part A Program in the Maricopa County Department of Public Health. His professional history gives him expertise in health department prevention and care programs.
Mr. Sapero is an active member of NASTAD and currently serves on NASTAD’s board of directors. His program received the NASTAD Program Excellence Award in 2016. Mr. Sapero has been living with HIV for more than 30 years.
Robert Schwartz is in his third decade as the Professor and Head of Dermatology at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, where he chairs the university-wide Academic Standards, Regulations and Admissions Committee and serves on the Rutgers University board of trustees. He has previously been the Faculty President of the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and a Visiting Professor at the Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration.
Professor Schwartz has had a longtime interest in HIV/AIDS. In 1981, he led one of the three groups that first described AIDS-associated Kaposi's sarcoma. He has written 65 publications on Kaposi’s sarcoma, including a breakthrough therapy for Kaposi's sarcoma as well as original descriptions of Kaposi's sarcoma subtypes. He has lectured on Kaposi’s sarcoma and other AIDS-related topics around the world, in more than 30 different countries, including Algeria, Brazil, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Sudan, Venezuela, and Yemen.
Prof. Schwartz’s research has brought him international recognition as well as numerous honors, including the title of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, at the Tbilisi Medical Academy in Georgia, and Honorary Professor at the China Medical University and at India’s Sree Balaji Medical College. He has been elected as an honorary member of the national dermatologic societies of more than 20 different countries, including Germany, Italy, Poland, India, Korea, Czech Republic, Kuwait, Latvia, and Jordan.
Prof. Schwartz earned a bachelor's degree in political science at the University of California, Berkeley in 1969. He received a Master of Public Health in Health Administration and Planning at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health in 1970, and a Doctor of Medicine at the New York Medical College in 1974, graduating as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. He completed a dermatology residency at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and the Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
Prof. Schwartz holds board certification in dermatology and in diagnostic and laboratory immunology. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and the American Academy of Dermatology.
While earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology at Brown University, Justin Smith participated in social justice and health activism on campus as well as in the community. It was during this time he also began conducting HIV prevention research, and he turned his sights toward understanding and addressing racial disparities in HIV infection among gay and bisexual men. He had the opportunity to intervene in the HIV epidemic when he joined The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Medicine as the coordinator for Project Strength Through Youth Livin’ Empowered (STYLE). This HRSA-funded initiative provided HIV testing and linkage to HIV care for young Black and Latino HIV-positive men who have sex with men. Through STYLE, Mr. Smith facilitated support groups for young gay and bisexual men living with HIV, and also organized an HIV testing campaign on college campuses across North Carolina that helped thousands of young people learn their HIV status.
While earning his Master of Public Health degree in health behavior at UNC-Chapel Hill, Mr. Smith received additional training in state and local HIV policy at the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, and in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender health at the Fenway Institute. After completing his MPH degree, he joined the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention at CDC as an ORISE Fellow where 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). By applying an analytic framework informed by critical race theory and intersectionality to his public health research and practice activities, 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.
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 131,400 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.
Liaison: CDC / HRSA Advisory Committee on HIV, Viral Hepatitis, and STD Prevention and Treatment
Dr. Jen Kates is Vice President and Director of Global Health & HIV Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, where she oversees the Foundation’s 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 thirty years. Prior to joining the Foundation 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 serves on numerous federal and private sector advisory committees on global health and HIV issues, and is currently a member of PEPFAR’s Scientific Advisory Board, the NIH Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council, and the CDC/HRSA Advisory Committee on HIV, Viral Hepatitis, and STD Prevention and Treatment (CHACHSPT). In addition, she serves as an Alternate Board Member of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria and is on the Governing Council of the International AIDS Society.
Dr. Kates received her Ph.D. in Health Policy from George Washington University, where she is also a lecturer. She is also a lecturer at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College, a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts.
Ms. Hayes serves as the Executive Director of PACHA. She is also the Principal Deputy Director of the HHS Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP) within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH).
Before her appointment with PACHA, Ms. Hayes served as the Acting Deputy Director and Senior Advisor for Policy for the Office on Women's Health (OWH) also within OASH. Among her responsibilities were the formulation of budget, performance, and policy initiatives for the office, as well as management improvement and strategic planning.
Prior to joining the OWH staff, Ms. Hayes served as Special Assistant to then-Assistant Secretary for Health and Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher. In this capacity, Ms. Hayes worked on many health policy initiatives and managed the immediate personal staff for Dr. Satcher. She was a Policy Advisor with the Surgeon General as a member of the health and medical team to assess public health and medical needs after the U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. She also has 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 partnerships with national, State, and local organizations, 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, where she produced news stories on “Innovative Campus Approaches to HIV/AIDS Education” and health research on other topics for medical news stories. Ms. Hayes also worked with the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues, a legislative service organization composed of members of Congress and co-chaired by Representatives Patricia Schroeder and Olympia Snowe, where she worked on a host of health policy initiatives, including the Women's Health Equity Act and health care reform.
Ms. Hayes received a 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 selected as a Presidential Management Fellow and completed her 2-year assignment at CDC, National AIDS Information and Education Program.
As a Public Health Analyst for the Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy, Ms. Talev serves as the committee manager for the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). In this capacity, she has assisted with the joint PACHA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Health Resources and Services Administration Advisory Committee on HIV, Viral Hepatitis, and STD Prevention and Care HIV Disclosure Summit, the dissemination of PACHA'S Achieving an AIDS-Free Generation report, and assisting with the White House's Office of National AIDS Policy special task force on Employment and People Living with HIV/AIDS. Prior to her role with PACHA, Ms. Talev interned at the Office on Women's Health, where she focused on strategic planning and employee satisfaction issues. During her graduate program, she was a Policy Fellow at the American Association of University Women, a national grassroots organization to improve the lives of women and their families. Additionally, she had the exciting opportunity to be an advocacy intern 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's in arts degree from the University of Central Florida and her master's in public administration degree from American University.