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Zingale Named AIDS Action Executive Director

Former HRC Political Director to Head Nation's Premier AIDS Advocacy Group

October 18, 1996

Contact: José Zuniga
(202) 986-1300, Ext. 3042

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Seasoned political strategist and civil rights advocate Daniel Zingale was today named executive director of AIDS Action, the nation's premier AIDS advocacy organization. As political director of the Human Rights Campaign, Zingale successfully used his skills as a coalition- and consensus-builder to bring about last month's historic vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in the U.S. Senate. Zingale, who sits on the board of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, said today that his first challenge as executive director will be to forge partnerships with traditional civil rights groups that will allow AIDS Action to better address a burgeoning epidemic in underserved and underrepresented communities and help alleviate the public health crisis around access to promising, yet expensive, HIV treatments.

"We selected Daniel Zingale both because he understands the numerous challenges facing our community and because he is committed to ensuring that all people living with HIV and AIDS have access to the broad range of cutting edge treatments they need to stay alive and well," said David Wexler, chair of the AIDS Action Council Board of Directors. "Daniel's well-honed skills as a coalition-builder and political strategist will greatly enhance AIDS Action's work as we fight for the interests of all Americans living with HIV and AIDS and the organizations that serve them."

Zingale has served as political director of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian and gay political organization, since 1993. While at the Human Rights Campaign, Zingale spearheaded lobbying and coalition-building efforts which included successful campaigns to defeat legislation to deny federal funding to organizations that provide AIDS services to the gay and lesbian community, and to discharge HIV-positive service members from the U.S. Armed Forces.

Just last month, Zingale masterminded the Human Rights Campaign's political strategy to bring ENDA - legislation that would outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation - up for a vote in the U.S. Senate. Although defeated by a one vote margin, ENDA represents the first gay civil rights bill ever voted on in either chamber of the U.S. Congress and sets the stage for future legislative strategies around gay civil rights issues.

"Daniel is one of our movement's very best political strategists," said Elizabeth Birch, executive director of the Human Rights Campaign. "I look forward to working together with him to ensure an appropriate federal response to AIDS and HIV."

Zingale was the first Human Rights Campaign official to sit on the board of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, a powerful umbrella group which represents diverse organizations seeking civil rights for people living with HIV and AIDS and other disabilities, communities of color, women, gay men and lesbians, and others. Wade Henderson, who is the Leadership Conference's executive director, lauded Zingale's "indefatigable commitment to ensure that all Americans, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or disability, are able to pursue the dream of freedom and equality to which we are all entitled as citizens of this great nation"

Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), an ardent supporter and defender of civil rights and AIDS causes, added his voice to a chorus of praise for Zingale as a political strategist. "Daniel Zingale has the commitment, expertise, and the access needed at this critical time in the nation's battle against AIDS," said Kennedy. "He has worked tirelessly and effectively to build coalitions to meet difficult challenges. I'm sure he'll do an outstanding job as AIDS Action's executive director."

Before joining the Human Rights Campaign, Zingale served as managing director of government relations for the American Psychological Association and as the State of California's deputy controller. Zingale earned a Bachelor's of Art degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master's degree in Public Administration from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

AIDS Action is the nation's premier AIDS advocacy organization, dedicated solely to defeating the AIDS epidemic and improving the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of HIV-infected Americans. AIDS Action represents all people living with HIV and AIDS and over 1,400 community-based AIDS service organizations that serve them.

For more information, contact:
AIDS Action Council
1875 Connecticut Avenue NW #700
Washington DC 20009
202-986-1300, extension 3053
202-986-1345 (fax)
202-332-9614 (tty)

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This article was provided by AIDS Action Council.