Guest Contributor: 

Chris Collins

Chris Collins
Vice President and Director of Public Policy, amfAR

Chris Collins is a veteran AIDS advocate who has helped shape HIV/AIDS policy and communications for almost two decades. He was named vice president and director of public policy for amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, in May of 2009.

As director of public policy, Collins’ primary responsibilities are to lead amfAR’s efforts to secure necessary increases in funding for HIV/AIDS research; promote a comprehensive National AIDS Strategy, including repeal of the current ban on federal funding for syringe exchange programs; expand access to care and treatment; and protect the civil rights of all people affected by HIV/AIDS.

Collins has spent more than 18 years working in HIV/AIDS policy and advocacy. He is the author of Improving Outcomes: Blueprint for a National AIDS Plan for the United States, which was published by the Open Society Institute in 2007. Most recently, Collins was a consultant on policy and communications for several organizations, including the Coalition for a National AIDS Strategy, where he helped organize efforts to advance the National AIDS Strategy movement, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he helped coordinate the Global HIV Prevention Working Group. He also oversaw production of the series of Missing the Target reports on international AIDS service scale-up produced by the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC).

Collins is a co-founder of the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition (AVAC) and served as its executive director for two years, leading the organization’s advocacy and development efforts. As a consultant to AVAC he has recently written on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and other issues. Also, while serving as staff to Cong. Nancy Pelosi, Collins developed the first Congressional legislation designed to provide incentives for the development and delivery of vaccines against AIDS, malaria, and TB.

Collins holds a master’s degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, where he graduated with highest honors.