I am writing to share the news that I will be leaving my role as managing director of Health GAP in January 2020.
For the past five years, it has been a great honor to co-lead this organization alongside Asia, working with our team of talented and dedicated staff, board and core steering committee members, and collaborating with incredible allies and activists all over the world to fight for AIDS treatment access for all.
In the coming months, I will be stepping into the role of chief of staff at the Center for Popular Democracy—one of the leading progressive movement-building organizations in the United States—at a critical time in the U.S. political landscape. Until then, I will be working closely with Asia and our board of directors to ensure a smooth transition.
Looking back over the years, I am so very proud of what we have achieved together as health justice activists.
Since 2014, Health GAP has grown significantly. We have doubled the size of our team, and have deepened collaborations or formed new activist alliances in nine countries across Eastern and Southern Africa and Haiti. We have led successful efforts to overturn hundreds of millions of dollars in funding cuts by the U.S. government to critical HIV programs in South Africa, Kenya and elsewhere, and in 2018 we played a critical role in winning the first funding increase for global AIDS programs from the United States Congress in 7 years. We’ve also made tremendous strides in making Health GAP a place where fierce, dedicated activists can thrive even as we do incredibly difficult social justice work. We have overhauled our human resources, administrative, finance, and grants management systems so that staff could spend more of their time focused on what matters most—fighting for access to quality treatment for all people living with HIV. And, last year, we took a (radical) month-long organizational sabbatical during which we collectively took time to rest, reflect and refuel for the important struggles ahead of us.
While I cannot take credit for these accomplishments or the many others not mentioned here, what I can say is that it has been an immense honor to help lead this fabulous and feisty organization that continues to have an outsized impact on the global HIV response.
Today, Health GAP is in great shape and we have a strong transition plan in place to ensure that our incredible team can carry out its mission of ensuring access to quality HIV treatment for all—work that is more important than ever. In January 2020, our Board Chair T Richard Corcoran will step up to join our team full-time as interim managing director. Asia and T Richard will provide continued oversight and direction to Health GAP’s work, assess what the organization needs in this next phase, and recruit a permanent hire. If you don’t already know T Richard, you can learn more about him in this blog post or listen to this incredible story he delivered live for The Moth last year.
Thank you for the incredible support you have shown to me and our entire team at Health GAP during my time as managing director. Health GAP will always have an ally, cheerleader, and super-fan in me wherever life—and our collective struggle—takes me.