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Mayor Anthony A. Williams
Appointment of Darlene R. Nipper
Director of the Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Affairs

November 30, 2005




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Leader in advocacy and outreach slated to fill vacancy

(Washington, DC) - Mayor Anthony A. Williams today announced Darlene R. Nipper as the Director of the Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Affairs.

"Ms. Nipper's keen acumen in the areas of advocacy and outreach will greatly benefit the residents of the District," said Mayor Williams. "Her professional and academic accomplishments coupled with a solid personal commitment to the challenges facing minority and at-risk populations will help us to address the concerns of the LGBT community with great sensitivity."

Below is a biography for Darlene R. Nipper.

Darlene R. Nipper
Director, Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs

Darlene Nipper brings more than 15 years of management and advocacy experience to the District of Columbia government. She has been an advocate for those affected by HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, mental illness, and other health issues. For the past year, Ms. Nipper has served as a health advocacy consultant.

During the past 15 years, Ms. Nipper has participated in several LGBT organizations and events. Ms. Nipper was a member of the Mayor's LGBT Executive Committee, where she focused on health issues, throughout Wanda Alston's tenure. She also served as a facilitator at the National Youth Advocacy Coalition 's Annual Summit for several years, coordinated depression screening and education events for the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League in 2001, and ran HIV/AIDS and substance abuse support groups for the Inner City AIDS Network during the early 1990s. Ms. Nipper has also supported the efforts of numerous other organizations including The Mautner Project; Black Lesbian Support Group; Living Miracles, a group focused on encouraging LGBT community members to seek recovery from substance abuse; and Women in the Life. In the Summer 2005 issue of Community Life, an African American LGBT E-Newsletter, Nipper wrote an article about Lesbians and Breast Cancer, highlighting her personal struggle with breast cancer. 

Ms. Nipper has held leadership positions in many national advocacy organizations, including the Black Entertainment Television (BET) Foundation, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, and the National Mental Health Association. During 2004, she served as the Executive Director BET Foundation. While managing the operations of the Foundation, Nipper oversaw a national media campaign to reduce obesity in African American women. 

Ms. Nipper served as the National Director of NAMI's Multicultural and International Outreach Center beginning in 2001, and she was appointed Chief Operating Officer for NAMI in 2003. She founded the center to increase membership of racially and ethnically diverse people in NAMI and the cultural competency of NAMI programs. In this role she built coalitions and partnerships with other mental illness advocacy groups. As Chief Operating Officer, she managed the overall operations of NAMI's national office, including education programs, outreach, policy, communications, and administrative functions.

As Senior Director and then Vice President of Public Education for the National Mental Health Association (NMHA), Ms. Nipper managed programs that worked with 340 mental health associations across the country and implemented the Campaign for America's Mental Health, a grassroots national public education and outreach program aimed at reducing the stigma of and increasing understanding of mental illness and encouraging action to improve the mental health of all Americans.

From 1994 to 2000, Ms. Nipper was the Director of Community Living at the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Institute, a community residential services program for adults with mental retardation and developmental disabilities. As an employee of Koba Associates, Inc., in Washington, DC, Ms. Nipper managed several projects and campaigns to improve understanding and prevention of HIV/AIDS and substance abuse, work with community members to develop community-level intervention, and link substance abusers to appropriate medical and social services. She was the Campaign Director for the African American HIV/AIDS Education Campaign; Curriculum Director for the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) AIDS Education and Research Project; and Director of Spectrum Extended Services, AIDS Outreach for Minority Communities. 

Ms. Nipper received her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Howard University and a Master of Science in Administration from Trinity College. She is currently training to become an ordained Interfaith minister. She is currently a board chairman for Vanguard Services Unlimited, a board member of the National Leadership Council on African American Behavioral Health, and a member of the National Institute of Mental Health ITV Research Review Committee. She also served on the Washington Regional AIDS Programs (WRAP) Community Advisory Board.

Ms. Nipper is a native Washingtonian and currently lives in Ward 4 with her partner of 9 ½ years.

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