Saying she wishes to spend more time with her family, San Francisco AIDS Foundation executive director Pat Christen announced on Friday that she will leave the organization on July 31. She joined the organization as a volunteer in 1985 and served as director for 15 years. She said the decision to leave SFAF was "an absolutely agonizing and bittersweet decision."
Christen is credited with playing a key role in drafting legislation that led to the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act, which distributes $2 billion annually in funding for national HIV prevention, education, treatment, and support programs. She also helped SFAF develop a needle-exchange program in San Francisco to keep HIV transmission rates low among injection drug users.
The agency has begun a search for a replacement, according to SFAF board of directors chairman Mark McCormick. Agency development director Lance Henderson will serve as acting director until a replacement is selected.