President Bush Names Scott Evertz as National AIDS Policy Coordinator
Log Cabin Republicans Chapter President is First Openly Gay AIDS "Czar" in History; Evertz to Head Upgraded AIDS Office with First-ever Dual Focus on Domestic and International AIDS Response
(WASHINGTON, DC) – The White House is expected to announce today that President George W. Bush has appointed Scott Evertz of Wisconsin, to be the Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy Coordination – the first openly gay AIDS "Czar" to be appointed since the AIDS office was created.
Evertz, who was serving as President of Log Cabin Republicans of Wisconsin when he was selected, will sit on the White House Domestic Policy Council, chaired by the President, and will head an expanded AIDS office. The White House announced that the office will upgrade its policy coordinating scope to include both domestic and international HIV/AIDS, with staff detail from both the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of State.
"We applaud the President for this historic appointment, and for upgrading the White House AIDS office to address the global epidemic," said Rich Tafel, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans. "President Bush has demonstrated his strong commitment to making AIDS policy a long-term national priority with today's announcements."
"We are very proud of Scott Evertz and the leadership he has shown for years for people with HIV/AIDS and for his willingness to accept the challenge of a crucial position at this important moment. The President has chosen an excellent adviser and advocate for sound AIDS policy. We look forward to working with him. In this appointment, President Bush has reaffirmed his commitment that he will seek out qualified Americans from all walks of life, including gay and lesbian Americans, to serve in his Administration. We are especially proud that one of our own will serve in such an important and high-ranking policy position in the Bush Administration."
Since 1992, Evertz has been a public policy advocate in Wisconsin state government for people with HIV/AIDS. He worked closely with then-Governor Tommy Thompson (R), now Secretary of Health and Human Services, to help create one of the best service delivery systems in the nation for people with HIV/AIDS. In his professional work, he has worked for a number of AIDS service organizations which provide housing, rehabilitation and hospice care. He also led development efforts for the building of a faith-based mission hospital in Karungu, Kenya, which piloted crucial community-based HIV/AIDS testing programs. He comes to the Bush Administration from Common Ground, an ecumenical faith-based organization in Milwaukee that runs a housing program for people with HIV/AIDS.
Evertz served as legislative director for Log Cabin Republicans of Wisconsin for several years before being elected state President in 1998. He was instrumental in the passage of a state law in 1997 ensuring hospital visitation rights for gay and lesbian partners. He also helped organize a statewide effort to ensure greater access to state AIDS funding among community-based organizations, including faith-based groups. Evertz met with then-candidate George W. Bush in April 2000, and played a key role in a July 2000 meeting with Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director Rich Tafel and then-Governor Thompson on a successful Log Cabin Republicans effort to insert language on national AIDS policy into the 2000 Republican Party platform. Thompson chaired the 2000 GOP platform committee. Evertz and Log Cabin Republicans Wisconsin received an Log Cabin Republicans grass-roots leadership award at the 2000 Log Cabin Republicans National Convention in Philadelphia for the successful work on the GOP platform. Log Cabin Republicans is based in the nation's capital, with field offices in Dallas and Boston.