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We are thrilled to announce that Douglas M. Brooks, MSW, has joined the JRI Board of Trustees. This is homecoming of sorts, as JRI was where Douglas honed his leadership skills before he left to join the Obama White House as Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP).
Douglas began his work in public health as a case manager and program coordinator at the Provincetown AIDS Support Group. His social work career commenced as a clinician and program director for JRI. He was promoted to oversee the JRI Health Division, dedicated to serving youth and adults who are at great risk of HIV/AIDS, who are already living with HIV disease and in need of services and supports to gain and maintain health. The division grew under his leadership to provide a broad range of services related to LGBTQ+ communities. Douglas went on to become part of JRI’s executive team as Senior Vice President for Community, Health, and Public Policy.
For twelve years Douglas served on a team representing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as part of the Massachusetts-South Africa Health Task Force, working with South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province Department of Health on developing partnerships between government and HIV-positive consumers.
In 2010, Douglas was appointed to The Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) and subsequently named that body’s liaison to the CDC/HRSA Advisory Committee. In 2014, he was appointed to be Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP). In 2015, Douglas spearheaded an update to the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which a five-year plan that guided priorities and principles for our nation in our response to HIV. During his time as director of ONAP, Douglas, an openly gay Black man living with HIV, focused on turning attention to populations of people most affected by the epidemic—such as gay and bisexual men, notably Blacks and Latinos, Black women, transgender men and women, and people living in the Southern U.S.
From 2016, Douglas joined the leadership team at Gilead, first as Senior Director for Community Engagement at Gilead Sciences, and then as Vice President, Advancing Black and Community Engagement. In 2018, he helped to architect COMPASS, the company’s 10-year, $100 million commitment to addressing HIV in the Southern United States. In 2020, he developed a pioneering partnership with the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine to address racial inequities in the treatment of COVID-19 and other significant health issues. In 2021, he assumed additional responsibility for creating and executing programs focused on combatting structural anti-Black racism and health-based inequities.
Douglas has served on multiple non-profit and governmental boards and advisory committees, including as Chair of the Board of Trustees of AIDS United in Washington, DC and Co-Chair of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. We look forward to benefiting from Douglas’s skill and expertise.