AID Atlanta hires Cathy Woolard as interim executive director

Woolard has also served as lobbyist for Georgia Equality, the statewide LGBT group.

AID Atlanta Board Chair Mark B. Rinder said the board was thrilled with Woolard’s new role as it looks to hiring a full-time executive director. The organization has also received a grant from the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta for an “organizational assessment.”

“This is an exciting time for AID Atlanta. In its 30th year and under new leadership we’re embarking on an assessment to determine the strengths needed in a permanent executive director,” Rinder said in a statement.

The announcement comes shortly before World AIDS Day, Dec. 1. AID Atlanta will host an open house of its facility on Thursday, Nov. 29, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Tracy Elliott resigned as executive director of AID Atlanta in June after serving five years at the helm. At the time, the board announced Elliot’s position would be filled by the AID Atlanta leadership team until a new executive director was hired. Shortly after Elliot’s resignation, however, Jon Santos, the development director and a member of that leadership team, also resigned to take a position with Jerusalem House.

From the press release:

The board of directors of AID Atlanta is thrilled to announce that it has named former Atlanta City Council President, Cathy Woolard, as interim executive director. She brings extensive non-profit executive management expertise as well as a broad knowledge of the city’s corporate and civic leadership. She will continue to maintain the client base at her public affairs company while she leads the organization in its 30th year. AID Atlanta also announces that it was awarded a grant from the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta to fund an organizational assessment to study the changes in the AIDS service organization landscape, which it expects will inform its search for a permanent executive director.

Woolard is a familiar face in the Atlanta non-profit arena. In addition to her role in public office, Woolard has provided public affairs consulting and interim executive management for a number of organizations including the Human Rights Campaign, League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, Metro Atlanta Arts and Culture Coalition and Planned Parenthood of Georgia. She also held the position of executive vice president, global advocacy and external relations at CARE. Woolard currently serves on the boards of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. and the Atlanta Medical Center.

Woolard’s name was floated as a possible candidate to lead the Human Rights Campaign when Joe Solmonese stepped down. She became Georgia’s first openly gay elected official when she won the District 6 seat on the Atlanta City Council in 1997; four years later, she was elected as the first woman and first openly gay person to serve as City Council president. She ran for Congress in 2004, losing to Cynthia McKinney.