Adrian Shanker ’09 Joins Biden-Harris AdministrationHe is serving as senior advisor on LGBTQI+ health equity in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
By: Meghan Kita Tuesday, October 11, 2022 08:01 AM
Adrian Shanker ’09. Photo by Libby Reyff
Adrian Shanker ’09, who founded Allentown’s Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, is serving as senior advisor on LGBTQI+ health equity in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Today is his first day in the position. Previously, he was executive director of the Spahr Center in Marin County, just north of San Francisco, a role he began in April of this year.
“I am deeply humbled by the invitation to join the Biden-Harris administration in this role and I look forward to supporting the administration’s efforts to advance health equity for the LGBTQI+ community,” Shanker said in a press release at the time of the appointment.
Last year, Shanker, who was a political science and religion studies double major at Muhlenberg, joined the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, which “provides advice, information and recommendations to the Secretary of Health & Human Services regarding programs, policies and research to promote effective treatment, prevention and cure of HIV disease and AIDS,” according to its website.
During his time at the Spahr Center, Shanker expanded programming for LGBTQI+ families, launched its Training Institute, oversaw a rebranding of its website and logo and advocated for monkeypox vaccine access.
Prior to his move to California, Shanker served as commissioner on the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (the state’s civil rights enforcement agency) and as commissioner and health committee co-chair of the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs, which advises Governor Tom Wolf’s administration. He edited 2020’s Bodies and Barriers: Queer Activists on Health as well as Crisis and Care: Queer Activist Responses to a Global Pandemic, which was released in June.