Sudden Departure

Hader's resignation leaves city's HIV/AIDS office in temporary hands

by Yusef Najafi
Published on June 17, 2010, 11:54am | Comments

During a news conference on Tuesday, June 8, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty announced that Dr. Shannon Hader has resigned from her position as senior deputy director of the D.C. Department of Health's HIV/AIDS Administration (HAA).

David Mariner, executive director of The Center, the local LGBT community center, where Hader had just a few months ago held a meeting about HIV/AIDS data in Washington, expressed sadness and frustration.

''It's a disappointment,'' Mariner says. ''Dr. Hader did a good job and it's unfortunate timing for her departure. It's going to be quite some time before we get someone else in that position.''

Hader accepted the position in August of 2007.

''She was moving us in the right direction in many ways,'' he adds. ''Obviously, I didn't agree with her on everything, but not having someone in a position like that is a blow.''

Without offering any detail on the reasoning behind Hader's departure, Fenty's office also announced that Dr. Nnemdi Kamanu Elias, chief medical director for HAHSTA, ''will serve as interim senior deputy while a nationwide search is conducted for a permanent replacement.

"Our city has made considerable strides in the fight against communicable diseases like HIV/AIDS, increasing the number of HIV testing programs and investing in HIV/AIDS awareness and research," Fenty states in the release.

"I am confident that Dr. Kamanu Elias and the District will continue ensure that city residents are armed with the necessary tools to protect and improve their health."