Leadership Profiles

Get to know some of the leaders of the AIDS 2020 Local Planning Group.

Larkin Callaghan, Local Planning Group Co-Chair

Growing up in San Francisco, Dr. Larkin Callaghan couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.

“I love my city and the whole Bay Area region,” she says. “It’s dynamic, diverse, political – and for someone interested in HIV, offers history lessons and a plethora of new opportunities. I sort of had to force myself to leave for a while,” she admits.

After a brief layover back home working at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation after finishing her undergraduate studies in Los Angeles, leave she did. Moving to New York for a master’s in health behavior, she explored a few areas in the field – designing harm reduction and resource building programs for formerly incarcerated/re-entry individuals and persons who inject drugs at risk for HIV and Hepatitis C co-infection, and evaluating screening and linkage to care systems for immigrant communities in the city. Following some later stints working internationally in global health, Callaghan thought she knew exactly what she wanted to do. Read more about Larkin.

Rob Newells, Local Planning Group Co-Chair

It’s been over twenty years since Rev. Rob Newells, an Associate Minister at the Imani Community Church in his native city of Oakland, and Executive Director of AIDS Project of the East Bay, consciously dedicated himself to the community of those living with and affected by HIV.

“My circle of gay friends was full of people living with HIV when I came out in 1996. I remember cooking and shopping, and going to clinic visits and food pantries – seeing the need for support and seeing the side effects that some of the medications were having on people I really loved,” he explains.

“When I was getting ready to move to the East Coast, I told myself that I would find a way to honor my friends by volunteering around HIV as soon as I got settled. About a year later, I found myself helping to develop an education and outreach program focused on young black men who have sex with men in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina,” the Marine Corps veteran adds.

That was in 1999. Read More about Rob.