Remembering Doug Morgan

Doug MorganIt is with great sadness that we recognize the loss of our friend and esteemed colleague Mr. Douglas “Doug” Morgan, former Director of the Division of Service Systems at HRSA’s HIV/AIDS Bureau (HRSA-HAB) and a long-time leader in the nation’s response to HIV/AIDS. Since last spring, Doug had served as Deputy Associate Administrator of HRSA’s Healthcare Systems Bureau, applying his considerable knowledge and skill to a new array of important national public health programs. Mr. Morgan passed away this week.

My colleagues at the Office of HIV/AIDS Policy and across the Department of Health and Human Services want to honor Doug’s many contributions over a distinguished career—much of which was dedicated to implementing, fine-tuning, and ensuring the integrity of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, helping to make it the global model it is today. During his tenure at HRSA-HAB, Doug led the Division of Service Systems, overseeing Federal activities under the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program’s Part A (Hard Hit Urban Areas), Part B (State Formula Grants), and Part F (Minority AIDS Initiative).

Prior to joining HRSA-HAB, Doug served as New Jersey’s state AIDS Director, and Assistant Commissioner of Health. In that role he was instrumental in laying a solid foundation for HIV prevention and care programs across the state. Because of his extensive experience managing programs to prevent the perinatal transmission of HIV, Doug was asked to serve on an Institute of Medicine panel in 1999.  He also was a founding member of the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors Exit Disclaimer (NASTAD), and provided leadership to the growing organization as Chair from 1996-1997.  “As Doug moved from Trenton, New Jersey, to Rockville, Maryland, he never forgot what it was like working within state government to develop comprehensive systems of prevention, care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS,” noted Ms. Julie Scofield, Executive Director of NASTAD. “He remained a true collaborator, working with colleagues across the country to solve problems and run better programs. He was highly respected and will be greatly missed.”

We offer our sincere condolences to Doug’s wife, Ms. Valerie Rochester, and their children, and to our colleagues at the HIV/AIDS Bureau and the Healthcare Systems Bureau as well as the many grantees and other partners who worked with Doug over his many years of service.

As my colleague Mr. Christopher Bates, Executive Director of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) observed, “Doug leaves a lasting legacy to the HIV/AIDS field, evident in the Ryan White programs that provide HIV-related services to more than half a million people each year in communities across the country.”


  1. I remember Doug fondly from our work in the early days of the RWCA technical assistance contract. He was a consummate professional with unending compassion. He will be missed greatly by his colleagues here at JSI.

  2. Stewart Landers says:

    Doug was a wonderful advocate wihtin the federal government for people living with HIV and AIDS across the country. He helped reduce HIV/AIDS stigma and bridge the gap among the population groups disproportionately impacted by the disease. He will be very much missed and I extend my condolences to his family and colleagues.

  3. M Valerie Mills says:

    It is with great sadness that I say good-bye to my friend Doug. I met Doug when he was in Trenton, NJ and I was with the DC Administration for HIV/AIDS. I encouraged Doug to take the position at HRSA and I am glad I did. He was a true asset to the HRSA Family, and a leader for many communities. His laughter, smile and genuineness were contagious and you always knew that he was focused and committed. He instilled in us the means to be a better person as we continued to work for those challenged with HIV/AIDS.

    His wife, my namesake, has been a Blessing to Doug, and Doug to Valerie. May his time here on earth remains with us through our memories of Doug, his work in public health and specifically in HIV/AIDS, and his love for his family. He was a special person and an extraordinary father. We love you Doug and will think of you always. Thanks for touching all of our lives in the special way that you did.
    Blessings to you, Valerie, and the rest of the Family. You are in my heart and prayers.

    M Valerie Mills, PhD
    Senior Public Health Advisor

  4. My heartfelt sympathies go out to the Morgan family and all extended family members. I met Doug in 1995, while the Community Co-chair of the NYC HIV H/H Services Planing Council.
    Much can be said about Doug, but one thing for sure he was most certainly a very dedicated, and committed individual who would take time to speak with you an solve issues of relavence.

    The world needs more people like Doug, who served as a role model for many of us who were in our infancy early on, may he REST IN PEACE.

  5. Jaime Talero says:

    I knew Douf for over a decade and was always impressed by the depth of his knowledge about the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and his commitment to supporting the work of grantees and others to bring services to those in need. He will be greatly missed by those who knew him and loved him. My condolences to Valerie and the rest of Doug’s family.

  6. Doug was one of the constants in the HIV/AIDS field. I literally find it difficult to speak of him in the past tense. He labored endlessly to ensure services for those who were unserved and underserved, and many communities across this nation owe him a debt of gratitude for opportunities to advance health services. He never required the spotlight but was always eager to bring clarity to difficult policy questions regarding care and quality. That was the Doug I knew. He was a true health advocate, and his voice will be sorely missed in the public policy and health services debate. May he be blessed in his transition.

  7. Cephas and Thurma Goldman says:

    Cephas and I have so many fond memories of working with Doug during our tenure at HRSA. We have so much respect for his calm demeanor and decisive leadership. His work ethic was above and beyond reproach and is exemplified by his leagacy in the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program; we have used many of approaches in our international work. Our prayers go out to Doug’s family, friends and colleagues. although celebrate his home-going, he will truly be missed.
    Cephas and Thurma Goldman
    Pretoria, South Africa

  8. William M Harris says:

    May I add my profound sorrow in the passing of Douglas Morgan.. I remember him as a student at Rutgers U. And there was no question that he would make a significant and memorable contribution in an endeavor of importance. As destiny would have it, he has left a legacy of inspiration that will sustain our respect, as well as our fortune, for having known him.
    My condolences to Valerie, children, and other family members… May your burden and grief find relief in our sharing of memories so fondly recalled in knowing husband, father, Douglas Morgan…

  9. Alan Gambrell says:

    Smart, principled, and just plain nice. What a rare combination. Doug Morgan’s time on this earth truly mattered.

  10. David Poole says:

    I often found myself on the opposite side of a policy or operational issue from Doug over the many years I knew him. In spite of this Doug always remained respectful of my position or passion. It was Doug’s demeanor and handling of the tough discussions that I
    will always remember fondly and admire. Thank you Doug for being who you were and for your tireless efforts working with HIV all these many years. You will be missed.

  11. Dan O'Flaherty says:

    My heart goes out to Valerie and his family. I remember Doug from his days in Newark. I lost track of him, but he did not lose track of his goals.


  13. Chris Shipman says:

    Many of us remember Doug from our college days at Rutgers University. ..a charismatic leader, teacher and profoundly passionate about his community. Doug tutored younger students, found time to encourage high school students to consider attending Rutgers. Most importantly, we remember Doug’s ability to console his friends in time of need.
    To Doug’s family and especially his children, remember nothing that is loved is ever loss, those we love will forever live on in our memories. Hold on to all the fond memories.

    Sacramento, CA

  14. Valerie Rochester Morgan says:

    Thank you to all who have shared your thoughts and memories about Doug. Reading such fond thoughts of him are very comforting to our family.

    Valerie Rochester Morgan

  15. Michael G. Harmon says:

    It is with deep sadness that we say goodbye to a long time friend. As the former State AIDS Director of Oklahoma, Doug was always helpful to me as I struggled to implement ongoing changes in the RWCA. He graciously accepted an opportunity to come to our state and speak at one of our HIV/STD State Conferences years ago and for that we in the Oklahoma HIV community will always be greatful. His commitment to serving those disproportionately impacted by HIV disease was outstanding. The contributions Doug made to HIV care has earned him a high place in the mighty kingdom! Peace to you, Doug.

  16. Donald S. Goldman says:

    I was a member of the National AIDS Commission (1989-1993) after which I was appointed as a Superior Court Judge in New Jersey. Soon after my appointment to the bench, Chief Justice Robert Wilentz asked me to lead a committee to develop an AIDS/HIV policy for the judiciary in New Jersey. Doug worked closely with the judiciary to help develop that policy. He was an invaluable colleague in that effort and, in no small part because of his input and advice, that policy still stands today, 20 years later, and has been used as a model for other jurisdictions. See He will be missed by all of us who have been involved in the battle against AIDS, HIV disease and related disorders and by those who knew and worked with Doug. His family can be very proud of his accomplishments.

  17. Peter M. Shepard-Rivas says:

    There are people that leaves their stamp during their life and Mr. Douglas Morgan is one of the few. Thanks for your commitment and job well done. Thanks for caring. May he be blessed in his transition and my respects to his family.

    Peter M. Shepard-Rivas
    Program Director
    Coai, Inc.
    Bayamon, Puerto Rico

  18. Dr. Ruth Ahia says:

    Mr. D. Morgan was a tireless, committed and passionate public health administrator and a relentless advocate for those victimized by disease and social stigmatization. He cared for, and respected those that worked with him irrespective of where they are placed on the administrative chain. He mentored many directly or indirectly. He will be remembered in generations as one who cared and provided opportunity for many. He did his job well,lived well and left a good record. Rest In Peace! Rest In Peace! Rest In Peace “DR” Morgan! We will miss you. Death has never shocked us as it did when we heard that you have left this world.
    Emmanuel & Ruth Ahia

  19. Rick Goodman says:

    Working with Doug for five years here at HRSA was a great experience, due to his integrity, his sense of humour, his dedication to those in need, and he had such a sense of decency about him. He respected those of us in support offices, sought out our input. I remain saddened by this terrible news, but ever so glad that our paths crossed. He is missed.

  20. Karen Walker says:

    I will always remember Doug from his New Jersey days as he served on our Planning Council.(Bergen/Passaic) I was so humbled to be “his Chair”. He was one of the most humble people I knew! He never lost that humility as he moved onward and upward in his career. I am very proud and honored to have known him and work with him in this struggle. For him, the struggle is over! I pray his family is comforted by his memories!

  21. Sharon Gunn RN says:

    I was just another state ADAP director in the crowd at one of my first national ADAP meetings, but to my surprise Mr. Morgan put on his bright warm smile and acknowledged me by my first name on my way out of a break out session he attended. I was so impressed and over the years he always greated me by my first name with that same warm smile. I will miss him. My thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Morgan’s wife and family. Sharon Gunn Alabama ADAP