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Rebecca Haag
named to head two AIDS groups

Rebecca Haag
named to head two AIDS groups

Haag will head D.C. advocacy group and the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts

Rebecca Haag, 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 while 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)

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