Biographies

Stephen Bailous is Senior Vice President for Treatment Advocacy and Community Affairs, National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA). He provides training and leadership development services for consumers and is responsible for planning and organizing community mobilization projects. Steve also oversees NAPWA’s Consumer Advocacy Project (CAP). Christopher Barnhill is an award-winning HIV advocate and public speaker in Washington, DC. Born with HIV, Christopher is employed at Metro TeenAIDS as an Educator and Curriculum Coordinator. He has been featured in many media outlets such as NPR, WHUR Radio, MTV, and Nightline.

Laurie J. Bauman, Ph.D. is Professor of Pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Director of the Preventive Intervention Research Center. She has conducted multiple NIHfunded studies. She is currently Principal Investigator of two randomized trials on HIV prevention with youth, and recently completed a study of adolescent couples to better understand how love, trust, expectations of monogamy, couple communication and relationship salience affect condom use.

René Bennett-Carlson is Managing Attorney, Center for HIV Law and Policy (CHLP). René is one of the author’s of CHLP’s Positive Justice Project’s publication Ending and Defending Against HIV Criminalization: State and Federal Laws and Prosecutions and the lead staff member on CHLP’s Teen SENSE Youth Advocacy Advisor initiative. She has worked with multiple HIV/AIDS organizations. René is the recipient of the Cheverton Trophy, the equivalent of valedictorian, from Chapman University.

Chris Beyrer, MD, MPH is Professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He serves as Director of the Johns Hopkins Fogarty AIDS International Training and Research Program and is the founder and Director of the Center for Public Health and Human Rights at Johns Hopkins. He currently has research and/or training activities in Thailand, China, Burma, India, Laos, Malawi, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Africa, Brazil, Russia, and the US. He is the author of the 1998 book War in the Blood: Sex, Politics and AIDS in Southeast Asia and has published extensively on HIV/AIDS prevention research, and public health and human rights

Caressa Cameron of Virginia was crowned Miss America on January 30, 2010. Cameron is majoring in broadcast communications at Virginia Commonwealth University and aims to become a news anchor for TV. She won the Miss Virginia Pageant in 2009 based on her platform issue, “Real Talk: AIDS in America.” When Caressa was eight years old, she watched her uncle die from AIDS. This experience, coupled with her family taking in a foster child also living with AIDS, made choosing the disease as her personal platform an obvious choice. Cameron has served as coordinator of Youth Services for the Fighting the AIDS Crisis with Education and Support Project (FACES Project).

David Catania has held an At-Large seat on the Council of the District of Columbia since 1997. Due largely to Catania’s efforts, the District now boasts the lowest rate of uninsured children in the nation. Catania is a national leader in the fight to expand access to safe and affordable prescription drugs. He has worked to expand opportunities for District residents to gain enhanced career skills and practical training experience. In 2009, Catania became the architect and driving force behind the fight to secure equal marriage rights for all District residents, including gays and lesbians. He earned a B.S. from the Georgetown University (GU) School of Foreign Service in 1990 and a J.D. from the GU Law Center in 1993.

Stephanie Deyo has been an AIDS advocate from the time she was diagnosed in 1994. She lives in Seattle, Washington, where she is a Community Advisory Board Member for the University of Washington ACTU and Seattle Children’s Hospital. She is an ICAB representative for International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials. She is a Volunteer and serves on the Board of Directors for Lifelong AIDS Alliance in Seattle. She also serves on the Women’s HIV Research Collaborative through HANC.

Nnemdi Kamanu Elias, M.D. is the Interim Senior Deputy Director for D.C.’s HIV/AIDS Administration (HAHSTA). Prior to joining DC government in 2009, she worked for European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership in the Netherlands. As chief of the HIV/AIDS Care of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Global AIDS Program in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, she oversaw the implementation of US supported HIV services. Dr. Kamanu Elias obtained her medical degree from Yale University, completed residency in Internal Medicine/Primary Care at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and obtained a Masters in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley.

Peter Gamache, MBA, MLA, MPH, RN is Research and Evaluation Specialist at Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida at Tampa. He is completing a Ph.D. with a dissertation entitled, HIV Education for Youth in Transition to Adulthood. Mr. Gamache’s Ph.D. program focuses on the construction of social distance and stratification. Within this program, he is evaluating stigma, discrimination, and other negative, group-based value determinants that confer negative outcomes to educational achievement, employment and health. He advocates for a collective understanding of race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and culture to address and prevent marginalization of people with illnesses or disability.

Paul Grant is the Chief Creative Officer of Ascender Communications, LLC, an awardwinning company based in Washington, D.C. He has produced print campaigns, radio PSAs, political/social advocacy commercials, conference presentations, online educational and promotional videos and a host of other interactive content in support of regional and national advertising and public awareness campaigns. As a filmmaker he has produced content for TV including the 2004 documentary film, “Tangy’s Song!” for BET’s national ‘RAP-IT-UP’ HIV/AIDS awareness campaign. Grant studied filmmaking and graphic design at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA.

Daniel Leister Hall, DD holds a doctorate degree in divinity. He was ordained as Pastor of Emmanuel Grace Tabernacle in 1986 and continues to be the Pastor. He is general manager in one of the largest feeding ministries in the mid-Atlantic region, Chairman of the Community Advisory Board of Howard University Pediatric ACTU and a regional board member of the iCAB for IMPAACT.

Catherine Hanssens is Executive Director and Founder of the Center for HIV Law and Policy and she has been active in HIV legal and policy issues since 1984. As AIDS Project Director at Lambda Legal Defense Fund she developed HIV litigation and policy work, and was lead attorney on Lambda’s briefings on U.S. Supreme Court cases affecting the ADA and people with HIV. In New Jersey she successfully litigated the state’s first case addressing involuntary HIV testing, a system-wide challenge to segregation and treatment of prisoners with HIV, and the only federal appeals court decision recognizing the right of incarcerated women to funded elective abortions. She also has been a visiting clinical professor at Rutgers University Law School-Newark.

Glenda F. Hodges, PhD, JD, MDiv is Associate Hospital Director at Howard University Hospital. As an Ordained Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Dr. Hodges has been “up close and personal” with parishioners and patients who have struggled with spirituality when they are fighting for their lives suffering from various illnesses. She is the author of Spirituality and Medicine: Can the Two Walk Together. She holds appointment as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health.

Jeff Johnson is a Washington, DC-based, award-winning investigative journalist, social activist and political commentator. Through his outstanding work he has established himself as an authentic voice for change. Johnson has spent the last decade merging the worlds of politics and popular culture, including formerly serving as Senior Advisor for Media and Youth Outreach for People for the American Way, National Director of the Youth & College division of the NAACP, and as Vice President of the Russell Simmons Hip Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN). He is the author of Everything I’m Not Made Me Everything I Am: Discovering Your Personal Best (SmileyBooks).

Vanessa Johnson has volunteered and worked in the HIV/AIDS field for approximately 15 years. Vanessa currently serves as the Executive Vice President for the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) where she leads its capacity building assistance efforts. She was recognized by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a 2009 New Researcher. Prior to coming to NAPWA, Vanessa co-founded and established the first African American community based organization dedicated to HIV prevention work in the Northeast Region of New York State, the Capital District African American Coalition on AIDS (CDAACA). Vanessa is a 1990 graduate of Temple University Law School.

Michael Kharfen has 25 years of experience in communications, public relations and community outreach with federal and local governments and non-profit organizations. At the DC Department of Health, HIV/AIDS Administration, he serves as the Bureau Chief for Partnerships, Community Outreach and Capacity Building, administering public information, social marketing, community capacity building, condom distribution programs, public-private partnerships and policy. Previously, he was the communications director for Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, an advocacy organization; and Director of Public Affairs at the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Administration, where he was a leading spokesperson on welfare, foster care/adoption, child support, and refugees.

Li Li, Ph.D. is Professor-in-Residence at Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA Semel Institute Center for Community Health, and Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health. She is the Director of Methods Core, Center for HIV Identification, Prevention and Treatment Services (CHIPTS) and oversees the day-to-day management of the Core. Dr. Li has conducted research in the areas of HIV prevention and interventions, and social and cultural aspects of health promotion and services. Dr. Li specializes in research design, intervention development, and data collection and assessment strategies. She has received research grants to conduct intervention studies in reducing HIV stigma among Chinese service providers, enhancing methadone maintenance treatment outcomes for IDUs in China, and improving quality of life for families and children impacted by HIV in Thailand and China, and HIV prevention for IDUs and families in Vietnam.

Sally Mason, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Clinical Social Work in Psychiatry and Director of Social Work Training at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has over 23 years of experience in the area of HIV/AIDS as a case manager, educator, residential manager, psychotherapist, group facilitator, program consultant, and researcher. Specializing in services to low-income women, children, and families, she has played an active role in the development and evaluation of services for HIV-affected families in Chicago. Her programs of practice and research highlight the impact of HIV on family systems, most recently exploring how parents with HIV and their non-infected children are affected by and manage HIV stigma.

Carolyn L. Massey is Founding President of Massmer Associates LLC, a social venture company providing consulting, employment and volunteer service opportunities for HIV-positive persons. She is Director of the POSITIVE IMPACT HIV/AIDS Ministry at New Samaritan Baptist Church and is a Friend of SamariCorp, Inc. Community Development Corporation, both in Washington, DC. She is Board Director of Older Women Embracing Life (OWEL), Inc., a member of the Washington DC Places of Worship Advisory Committee, various other civic groups, and a member of “Sisters Circle” of Love, Sister Love, Inc., an international fellowship of women against HIV and AIDS. Author of numerous publications on HIV, the African American Church and community stigma, and HR Metrics in Faith Environments, her first book, Evidence of Identity, is scheduled for release in 2011

Rafael Mazin, MD, MPH is the Regional Advisor on HIV/STI Prevention at Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO). He directs PAHO strategy for prevention and care efforts at the epicenter of the HIV epidemic in the Americas. He has coordinated the efforts to strengthen the capacity of the health sector in Latin America and the Caribbean. He has contributed to the production of a reference document on Promotion of Sexual Health a seminal publication on Sexual Health in the New Millennium. Dr. Mazin is member of various editorial boards of journals on sexual health.

Tracey Middleton-Grant, MSW, LICSW is a licensed clinical social worker with extensive experience in substance abuse, mental health, and HIV/AIDS services. For the past 8 years, she has served as the Director for a National HIV/AIDS Technical Assistance and Training Program for HIV health providers and capacity building technical assistance for Ryan White program grantees. Mrs. Middleton-Grant currently serves as a consultant for Ascender Communications, Inc. and provides oversight for development of multimedia learning tools.

Gregorio Millett, M.P.H. is the Senior Policy Advisor in the White House Office of National AIDS Policy. He coordinates the Office’s policy, including HIV prevention policy. He was also the staff lead and principal writer for the HIV interagency working group that developed the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. Mr. Millett was a Senior Behavioral Scientist in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP) at CDC in Atlanta. In that capacity, he authored numerous peer reviewed papers that explored racial/ethnic disparities in HIV among men who have sex with men. Mr. Millett has a Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Eleanor Holmes Norton has been a Delegate to Congress representing the District of Columbia since 1990. In the early 1970s, Mayor John Lindsay appointed her as the head of the New York City Human Rights Commission and she held the first hearings in the country on discrimination against women to raise public awareness about the application of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to women and sex discrimination. Appointed by President Jimmy Carter as the first female Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Norton released the EEOC’s first set of regulations outlining what constituted sexual harassment. She has also served as a senior fellow of the Urban Institute and a professor at Georgetown University Law Center.

Laura Nyblade, Ph.D. is director of stigma, discrimination and gender at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). She oversees and leads efforts to translate research insight into evidence-based tools to reduce stigma. Nyblade has conducted research on reproductive health and HIV and AIDS for the past 15 years. She has developed, tested and validated indicators for measuring HIV-stigma, and has designed, implemented and evaluated stigma-reduction interventions. Nyblade also provides policy and strategic guidance on stigmareduction efforts.

Willo Pequegnat, Ph.D. is Associate Director, International HIV/STD Prevention Research, Division of AIDS Research at the National Institutes of Mental Health. Dr. Pequegnat has a range of experience with HIV/STD prevention research. She developed a program on the role of families in preventing and adapting to HIV/AIDS and chairs the international research conference on families and HIV/AIDS every year. She has authored numerous scientific articles and several books including “Working with Families in the Era of AIDS” and “From Childhood Sexual Abuse to Adult Sexual Risk: Trauma, Revictimization, and Intervention”. She coordinates national and international workshops, conferences, and symposia on HIV/STDs.

Jose Ramirez is an HIV prevention activist who lives in Washington, D.C. He was recently featured in the film The Other City. Jose works at La Clínica del Pueblo on a project called “Mpoderate”—-an HIV/AIDS prevention program for gay Latino immigrant youth in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. He has been living with HIV since 2000.

Sohail Rana, M.D. is Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Pediatric Hematology/HIV at Howard University. He has been providing care to children and young adults with HIV infection for the past 25 years and is the Principal Investigator of Pediatric and Perinatal AIDS Clinical Trials Unit since 1992. He has participated in more than 50 clinical trials for treatment of HIV infected children and adults and prevention of transmission of HIV from mother to child. He has received many awards and published extensively in peer reviewed journals. He received his medical education at King Edwards Medical College in Lahore, Pakistan and training at Brooklyn Jewish Hospital and University of Rochester, NY.

Andrea Rigoli is the development and Public health Associate at Pediatric AIDS/HIV Care, Inc., a non-profit in Washington, D.C., dedicated to serving youth infected and affected by HIV. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from Marymount University. Ms. Rigoli has been involved with HIV/AIDS issues since she was a teen due to a personal connection with the virus. She has developed and conducted a series of HIV/AIDS stigma reduction workshops at several DC Public Schools. She is a founding member of CEAS, as well as the DC Youth STD/HIV Working Group at HAHSTAl.

Nestor Rocha, M.P.H. is Bureau Chief of Prevention & Intervention Services in the DC Department of Health, HIV/AIDS Administration. Mr. Rocha has over 15 years of experience in the design, management and implementation of multiple HIV prevention programs in various settings from medical to street outreach. He has worked on the implementation of numerous HIV prevention strategies including routine HIV screening in medical settings, needle exchange and couples HIV testing.

Michael Sainte-Andress has lived with HIV since 1986 and he is a certified HIV/AIDS Educator & Peer Counselor and an HIV Treatment Education Specialist. He has numerous theatre, TV, radio and film credits and is an award-winning writer, performance artist and nationally sought after workshop facilitator and speaker on HIV/AIDS and cultural diversity issues.

Pernessa C. Seele is Founder and CEO of The Balm In Gilead, Inc., a not-for-profit, whose mission is to prevent diseases and to improve the health status of people of the African Diaspora by providing support to faith institutions. As a pioneer in mobilizing and educating faith communities to become engaged in the fight against AIDS, Dr. Seele is known for her extraordinary vision and ability to create partnerships among faith leaders of various cultures and doctrines. She has been recognized by TIME magiazine as one of the most influential persons in the world. She received a Doctorate of Humane Letters from the College of New Rochelle, NY.

Leickness C. Simbayi, Ph.D. is a psychologist and researcher at the Human Sciences Research Council in Capetown, South Africa. He is involved in several research projects related to behavioral and social aspects of HIV/AIDS. One study deals with evaluations of three theorybased HIV behavioral risk reduction intervention projects in South Africa dealing with a) male circumcision, b) STI patients and c) men who drink in informal drinking places. His other areas of research include orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), and theory-based combined HIV behavioral and gender-based violence risk reduction intervention among men.

Reginald and Dionne Smith: Reggie Smith is an HIV positive motivational speaker. With his wife Dionne, he developed the national campaign Wellness, Awareness, and Recovery (W.A.R.) to diminish stigma around HIV and increase awareness about the needs of affected families. Mr. and Mrs. Smith work with many local, national and international organizations to spread the word of hope and prevention. They are currently featured in a national campaign for Greater Than AIDS, a broad coalition of public and private sector partners united in response to the AIDS crisis.

Ellen Stover, Ph.D. is Director, Division of AIDS Research, at the National Institute of Mental Health. Her division supports a broad research portfolio focused on domestic and international HIV prevention. Dr. Stover received her Ph.D. in psychology from Catholic University, Washington, DC in 1978 and has held progressively responsible positions at NIMH over the last 38 years. She has been responsible for developing and overseeing all NIMH AIDS research programs since their inception in 1983. Dr. Stover received the Senior Executive Service Presidential Meritorious Award for her creation of international HIV/AIDS prevention collaborations in India. Dr. Stover is on the Editorial Board of several medical journals

Sean Strub is Senior Advisor to the Center for HIV Law & Policy’s Positive Justice Project. Sean has had HIV for more than 30 years and serves on the board of directors of the North American regional network of the Global Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (GNP+). He is also the founder of POZ magazine, the leading independent information source in the U.S. for people with HIV.

Iro Summers received her Bachelors of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science with Honors in 2005. During her tenure at John Hopkins in the clinical laboratory, she regularly conducted rapid HIV tests in an emergency room setting. She assisted Dr. Suzanne Gartner for two additional years investigating the role which different white blood cell populations had on latent HIV infection in patients. Mrs. Summers currently works as a clinical microbiologist in Howard University Hospital’s TB/Mycology laboratory and volunteers for the HIV/AIDS ministry at Providence Baptist Church in Baltimore.

Suniti Solomon, M.D. is the founder-director of the Y.R. Gaitonde Center for AIDS Research and Education (YRG CARE), a premier HIV/AIDS care and support center in Chennai, India. She documented the first evidence of the HIV infection in India in 1986. A pioneer in both the treatment and social aspects of HIV, Dr. Solomon is in leadership positions in numerous national and international organizations. She is Trustee At-Large of the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care; and member of the Asia Data Safety Monitoring Board of the Division of AIDS, NIH, USA. Dr. Solomon is the Principal Investigator of several HIV research studies: the US National Institute of Mental Health’s multi-country HIV/STD Prevention Trial; the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ HIV Prevention Trial Networks; an NIH award that will measure stigma in health care settings in Southern India; and an NIH study to focus on immune correlates of mucosal transmission of HIV-1 to women in Chennai, India. She has received numerous awards including the Mother Teresa Memorial Award in 2010 for “Education and Humanitarian Services.” Dr Solomon has published extensively on HIV epidemiology, prevention, care and support, biomedical research, research ethics and gender issues.

Kadijah Tribble is the founder and Director of Trifecta Consulting Group. She has worked to improve living for women, families and children in a number of organizations, including the American Red Cross, Covenant House Washington, JobPath and the Young Women’s Project and recently served as the Executive Director for Pediatric Care HIV/AIDS. She started the “Got Stigma” program. Khadija is currently involved in several international cultural humanitarian projects impacting the Youth Workforce Program in Senegal, and volunteering for the International Community of Women in Argentina.

Rebecca Vargas-Jackson, M.D. received training in surgery, infectious disease, and she is an expert in cultural competency in health care. She has been affiliated with The George Washington University since 1997 as a faculty member and involved in cancer and HIV/AIDS research. She has worked with numerous community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, government health departments and coalitions. During her tenure the National Latino Council for Tobacco & Alcohol Prevention, where she led the design of national surveys and programs to improve understanding of cultural issues related to alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuses by members of the Hispanic/Latino community.

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