Deputy Executive Director
Darlene Nipper, the Task Force’s deputy executive director, brings nearly 20 years of management and advocacy experience to the organization. She has held leadership positions in the government, corporate and nonprofit sectors, including the city government of Washington, D.C.; Black Entertainment Television (BET) Foundation; the National Mental Health Association; and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), where she served as chief operating officer.
Nipper has an extensive background as a health advocate, working with those affected by HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, mental illness and other health issues. As senior director and then-vice president of public education for the National Mental Health Association, Nipper managed programs that worked with 340 mental health associations across the country. From 1994 to 2000, she 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.
Beginning in 2001, she was national director of the Multicultural and International Outreach Center of NAMI, which she founded in order to increase membership of racially and ethnically diverse people in NAMI and the cultural competency of NAMI programs. She was later named chief operating officer, managing the overall operations of NAMI’s national office.
In 2004, she served as the executive director of the BET Foundation, where she oversaw a national media campaign to reduce obesity in African-American women. In 2005, she was appointed director of the Office of LGBT Affairs, in the Executive Office of the Mayor, District of Columbia, where she served as a senior advisor to the mayor on issues related to the LGBT community, provided key policy direction, and worked closely with government agencies to ensure appropriate training and consultation related to major legislative and regulatory guidelines affecting the local LGBT community.
As an employee of the D.C.-based Koba Associates, Inc., Nipper managed several campaigns to improve understanding and prevention of HIV/AIDS and substance abuse. She was the campaign director for the African American HIV/AIDS Education Campaign; curriculum director for the National Institute of Drug Abuse AIDS Education and Research Project; and director of Spectrum Extended Services, AIDS Outreach for Minority Communities.
An ordained interfaith minister, she most recently served as executive director of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington. Nipper received her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Howard University and a Master of Science in Administration from Trinity College.
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