Meet our CEO.
- Peter Twyman
I have spent the last 23 years of my life in the battle against AIDS. Why? Because I see the epidemic as one of the defining issues of our time, one that has underscored not only the tragic results of stigma, discrimination and social inequity, but also the power and strength of communities to overcome tremendous pain and suffering.
I started this work in the early 90s, when effective treatments were not available and an HIV diagnosis was considered a death sentence. I was young and gay and my peers were getting sick and dying. I was terrified and depressed. But for whatever reason, I decided the best thing to do was to join the fight, which ultimately led me here to Keep a Child Alive. I’ve had the privilege of working with some extraordinary, visionary people over the years who have taught me so much. From my time handing out condoms and clean syringes to young sex workers in Boston, to running HIV prevention programs with homeless drug users in San Francisco, to setting up HIV treatment and care programs with ministries of health in Rwanda and Cote d’Ivoire for tens of thousands of people, I’ve witnessed far too much suffering, but also incredible acts of love and kindness. I’ve also learned in a profound way that communities have the solutions, and the power to change the course of the epidemic.
More than two decades into this journey, I am also painfully aware of the work remaining and am committed to being part of the solution. The international response to AIDS, to be frank, has failed children and youth and I am proud to be working with an organization that is helping to close the gaps. I love Keep a Child Alive because we do things differently: we don’t think we have all the solutions, so we partner with community based organizations who know how to get things done; we don’t care what the “Aid establishment” thinks, so we can be bold and innovative; we know HIV is not the only issue facing children, youth, and families so we also tackle poverty, education and other issues they are facing. The people we serve are not nameless, faceless people “over there”, but rather people whose stories we know and whose lives we follow. These are the stories that inspire me every day.
Peter joined Keep a Child Alive as CEO in 2012. Prior to joining Keep a Child Alive, he worked at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health for eight years, where he directed large HIV prevention, care and treatment programs in Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Rwanda and Swaziland. He joined Columbia after four years at EngenderHealth, where he developed HIV programs in Africa and Asia, and several years managing HIV programs for the Massachusetts and San Francisco departments of health. He also directed a community-based HIV program with some of the most underserved people in San Francisco. Peter holds a Masters of Arts in Anthropology from University of California, Irvine, as well as a Master of Public Health from Harvard University.