Michael T. Isbell
Michael T. Isbell moved to Palm Springs last year after 33 years in New York City.
A 1985 graduate of Harvard Law School, Mike became engaged in the fight against HIV in 1986 when he brought a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Labor challenging a mandatory HIV testing policy in the Job Corps program, leading the federal government to scrap the policy. As the director of the AIDS Litigation Project at Lambda Legal in the early 1990s, Mike was involved in some of the earliest HIV discrimination cases in the country, with a particular focus on fighting insurance policies that discriminated against people living with HIV. As policy director at Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Mike led GMHC’s successful efforts to prevent the abolition of the New York City’s Division of AIDS Services, preserve and strengthen the State’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program, and implement far-reaching state insurance reforms that were eventually adopted nationwide through the Affordable Care Act. During the Clinton Administration, Mike served on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.
For the last 20 years, Mike has worked as a strategic policy consultant and advisor to numerous organizations engaged in the HIV fight at the global and domestic levels. He was served as a senior advisor to UNAIDS for two decades and has also provided extensive support for the work of amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the Los Angeles-based Black AIDS Institute; the World Health Organization; Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation; the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative; Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation; and numerous grassroots groups dedicated to the health and human rights of the LGBT community. Mike is continuing his consulting work from Palm Springs and is thrilled and honored to be a member of DAP’s board.