executive director of the AIDS Action Committee of
Massachusetts, has also been named to head the Washington,
D.C.-based national advocacy group AIDS Action
Council, marking the first time a single individual
has headed both agencies. She took on her second
post on Wednesday. Haag had served since 2003 on the
board of the D.C. agency. She will work to improve the
efforts of both groups in slowing the spread of HIV
and boosting access to HIV care and support programs
across the country.
"The AIDS Action
Council is dedicated to establishing sound public
policies in response to this epidemic," said Craig Thompson,
board chairman of the council and executive director
of AIDS Project Los Angeles, in a press statement.
"Our work in Washington is most effective when it is
informed by the expertise and experience of our
members who work on behalf of those living with HIV. We
believe that in Rebecca we have a win-win: She brings
policy vision and creative management skills
keeping her feet firmly on the ground in
fighting this epidemic."
Haag has served
as executive director of the AIDS Action Committee of
Massachusetts for the past three years and had served on its
board of directors for five years prior to that. Among
her key successes at the agency were forming
collaborations with other regional AIDS service
groups, which board members of the D.C. organization say
also will be an important part of her work as director
of the national advocacy group.
"In today's world
of HIV/AIDS, we still struggle to open minds, address
the lingering stigma, and increase government budgets
dedicated to this epidemic," said Haag in a press
statement. "Both the AIDS Action Council and AIDS
Action Committee of Massachusetts boards believe, as I
do, that we must think outside the box to be successful.
This is a bold experiment, and I welcome the challenge
to blend on-the-ground experience with national
policy, advocacy, and lobbying work." (Advocate.com)