The Chair of the New Zealand AIDS Foundation Trust Board, David Friar, announced that the Board has appointed Dr Jason Myers as the new Executive Director of NZAF. He will replace outgoing Executive Director Shaun Robinson.
“The Board is thrilled that Jason has accepted the role,” says Friar. “We face a number of significant challenges ahead, particularly given the increase in newly diagnosed HIV infections among gay and bisexual men in 2015. But there are also exciting new opportunities, as we supplement our strong condom message with the use of new bio-medical tools such as increased testing, immediate access to treatment, and PrEP.”
“Jason has the skills, knowledge and experience to lead NZAF during its next phase, as we look to use all of these tools to end the transmission of HIV within the next decade,” Friar added.
Myers comes to NZAF with over a decade of experience spanning HIV, public health, human rights and international development. He has in-depth knowledge of the HIV sector both in Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally, and has held representational roles in MSM sexual health and rights across the Asia-Pacific region.
Myers’ academic background is also in HIV. His PhD explored the lives of gay men living with HIV in Auckland. He has presented this work at a number of local and international conferences, and his research has been published in edited books and peer-reviewed journals.
“This is such an exciting time in HIV prevention. We now have all the tools we need to eliminate HIV in New Zealand within a decade. Excellent foundations have been laid by the outgoing Executive Director, and I am looking forward to working with the NZAF Board and staff as well as all of our external stakeholders to bring NZAF’s new strategic direction to life,” says Myers.
“I feel deeply privileged to be given this opportunity and can’t wait to get started,” he added.
“The NZAF Board ran a robust recruitment process, which was led by Board member Michael Moore. More than 30 candidates applied for the role, and the Board interviewed 7 candidates before deciding to offer the role to Jason,” says Friar. Myers will start with NZAF on 18 July 2016.
Myers comes to NZAF from Oxfam New Zealand, where he is currently a member of the Executive Leadership Team. Before that, he worked at NZAF between 2010 and 2014. He held a number of roles in that time, including leading the International Development and Love Your Condom programmes.
In November 2015 Myers was elected to the NZAF Board and attended one Board meeting. After outgoing Executive Director Shaun Robinson announced in March 2016 that he was resigning, Myers signalled his interest in the Executive Director role, and as a result, he immediately stood down from the Board.