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David Ernesto Munar

David Ernesto Munar

President & CEO | Howard Brown Health Center | Chicago, IL

President and CEO of the Howard Brown Health Center, has devoted his entire professional career to building comprehensive systems of care and prevention that meet the needs of vulnerable populations.

Since joining Howard Brown in 2014, Munar has focused his efforts in ensuring the delivery of excellent health and wellness services to LGBTQ people and allies at the organization's two clinics, research office, and homeless youth drop-in center in Chicago. Howard Brown also operates a chain of resale stores that generate unrestricted revenue to support its programs and services. Under Munar's stewardship, Howard Brown increased its patient based by 25%, settled longstanding debt, and established a two-month operating reserve. The organization recently achieved Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) status, a designation that will allow it to open a new satellite clinic on Chicago's far northside. Munar oversees a staff of 250 employees with an annual operating budget of $38 million.

Prior to HBHC, Munar honed his career at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC). He joined AFC in 1991 and, during his 23-years at the agency, served as policy director, vice president of policy and communication, senior vice president, and president and CEO, a position he held from 2011 to 2014. As chief officer, Munar managed a $23 million portfolio of care, prevention and policy programs and services.

His two decades of accomplishments fighting HIV/AIDS has advanced sound health policy locally and nationally. In 2007, he helped launch the Coalition for a National AIDS Strategy, which led to the National HIV/AIDS Strategy unveiled by President Obama in July 2010.

Together with AFC, Munar has championed voluntary HIV testing expansion efforts; shaped local policies and developed programs that curb HIV transmission among injection drug users; safeguarded funding for HIV prevention and HIV medication assistance programs; and worked closely with county, municipal, and state officials to support comprehensive systems to meet the needs of people affected by HIV/AIDS. Munar has also shaped public discourse on these topics, creating conversations that lead to education, advocacy and action.

Munar has served on numerous advisory councils for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health Resources Services Administration, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and gubernatorial and mayoral transition teams. He has served on the governing boards of the Association of Latino Men in Action, Communities Advocating Emergency AIDS Relief Coalition, the Harm Reduction Coalition, National Association of People with AIDS, and AIDS Action Council, where he chaired the Policy Committee from 2008-2010. He recently served on the governing boards of the Pediatric AIDS Chicago Prevention Initiative, Funders Concerned About AIDS, Center for Housing and Health, and Equality Illinois.

His work has earned several accolades, including being named a Champion of Change by the White House in 2011. Munar represented the U.S. on a regional panel at the 2010 International AIDS Conference. He was a plenary speaker at the 2009 National HIV Prevention Conference, the 2009 Creating Change National Conference on LGBT Equality, and the Global AIDS Alliance’s 2008 National Democratic Convention gathering.

His original commentary and analysis has appeared on such media outlets as The Huffington Post,, POZ,,, Windy City Times, Positively Awareand the Chicago Free Press. He has been interviewed by CNN, CNN en Español, Telemundo Chicago, USA Today, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, XM Radio, HIV Plus, POZ Magazine,, The Advocate, Washington Blade, Southern Voice, Bilerico Project, and others.

Munar’s work draws on career experience and perspectives as a bilingual Colombian-American and gay man living with HIV. He is an avid runner and graduate of Northwestern University.

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