After months of searching, GMHC announced the name of their new chief executive officer: Kelsey Louie, who has spent the last seven years working with people with HIV and AIDS at Harlem United Community AIDS Center. He was appointed Harlem's chief operating officer in 2013.
In a release, the GMHC board said Louie was a "dedicated manager with deep expertise in administering programs that serve people with HIV/AIDS, and a track record of strengthening their client health outcomes."
A native New Yorker who holds an MSW from New York University and an MBA from Columbia University, Louie is rejoining GMHC after working for the organization in 2006. As COO of Harlem United Community AIDS Center he managed a staff of 350 and oversaw the agency’s $42 million budget and operations.
The Chinese-American Louie, who has three siblings and grew up the Bay Ridge area of New York, is well known in New York for another reason: he was a competitive runner beginning from his time at Stuyvesant High School and later as part of the LGBT runners group Front Runners. (He has also been open about battling anorexia in his early 20s.) He's worked for a number of well respected groups including the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, New York Foundling, and Veritas Therapeutic Community Inc. as well as serving as an adjunct faculty member at the NYU Silver School of Social Work.
His former employers have chimed in with congratulations for Louie. Charles King, CEO of Housing Works, said in a statemetn that “Kelsey has an unshakeable commitment to end the AIDS epidemic and other health disparities among people of color. His open, transparent management style engages all stakeholders to build a sense of cohesion and community. He will be a huge asset to GMHC and the entire community moving forward.”
“GMHC firmly believes that, in this moment in history, we can — and must — eradicate AIDS as an epidemic. Doing so will require a deeper level of partnership between the city, the state, GMHC and other community-based agencies than ever before to ensure we broaden the reach of our efforts as widely as possible and maximize our impact. That’s why the Board has chosen Kelsey Louie, an innovator in the field of HIV/AIDS care and prevention services, to lead GMHC as its next CEO,” said Myron Sulzberger Rolfe, chair of GMHC’s Board of Directors. “We are delighted to welcome Kelsey back to GMHC.”
Roberta Kaplan, the attorney who helped take down the Defense of Marriage Act at the Supreme Court level, chaired the CEO search committee. She said that Louie is “the right leader to move GMHC’s vital work into the future, fulfilling our critical mission and continuing to expand our focus on meeting the changing needs of our clients and on curbing new infections among vulnerable populations. Kelsey will be an incredible champion for our clients in administering GMHC’s day to day operations, partnering with other community-based agencies, and leading our interactions with key city and state agencies.”
“I’m thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to join the incredible team of dedicated staff and board members at GMHC, one of our city’s most important LGBT institutions,” said incoming GMHC CEO Kelsey Louie. “After 30 years, GMHC continues to lead our community on the front lines of the fight against HIV/AIDS. I look forward to getting started and hearing more from GMHC’s clients, along with all of those in our community with a stake in the organization, to ensure everyone’s voice is included as we move forward to strengthen and expand GMHC’s capacity and vital work.”
Janet Weinberg, GMHC’s chief operating officer has served as interim CEO since early October. For more on the organization, read "Thirty Years and Still Going Strong."