The Black AIDS Institute (BAI) recently announced its next president and chief executive officer at a star-studded event held at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles. Raniyah Copeland, a longtime staffer at the community agency, is set to lead the organization as it embarks on its next chapter, according to a BAI press release.

“We are bringing a collective of the nation’s brightest leaders who are modeling the way to end HIV in Black America through the provision of outstanding Black-centric clinical care and best practices shared across the country,” said Copeland at BAI’s annual Heroes in the Struggle gala December 1.

Copeland, who is currently director of programs, began her tenure at BAI in 2008 when she was hired as the training and capacity-building coordinator.

“I have grown from planning the details of one of our largest programs to leading the strategic direction of all of BAI’s programming, including our newest entry into providing HIV direct services,” Copeland said. “I have led our growth to currently having the largest staffed and skilled programs team we have had in 10 years.”

Before joining BAI, Copeland worked as a crisis case manager at Beyond Shelter, a local organization dedicated to ending homelessness, and was a reproductive health assistant at Planned Parenthood in Pasadena. In addition, Copeland has a bachelor’s degree in African-American studies and a master’s in public health.

“I can’t imagine a better choice to lead the institute into the future,” said Wilson. “Raniyah is bold, brave and brilliant. She brings vigor and vision to the AIDS movement that, given the current political environment, is desperately needed.” (In 2015, Wilson, who founded BAI in 1999, announced to BAI’s board of directors that he would retire at the end of this year.)

 Click here to read more about Wilson’s decision to retire from the Black AIDS Institute.