As one of the leading voices for women’s sexual and reproductive health and empowerment in the country, Neena joined SisterLove, Inc. to lend her experience, talents, and resources to support the work of the organization, as well as learn from the staff and clients to enhance her understanding and direct engagement with the specific issues that impact women living with or at risk for HIV. Much of her work in HIV prevention and care has focused on the needs of Black gay men, so the opportunity to work more intentionally with a group of passionate women committed to the issues that impact women was a phenomenal opportunity.
Ms. Smith-Bankhead currently serves as an Assistant Director of Programs with the PRISM Health Research team in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University as the Director of Community Engagement and Capacity Building for the COMPASS Initiative, supported by Gilead Pharmaceuticals. Prior to joining the team at Emory, Neena spent 18 years overseeing prevention, education, and research activities at AID Atlanta, Inc., and served as a consultant with numerous local and national organizations, including Messages of Empowerment, LLC, HealthHIV, Danya International, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Southeast AIDS Training and Education Center (SEATEC).
Neena’s areas of expertise include HIV prevention and care, qualitative research, organizational development, program development, grant writing, and program evaluation. Neena received her Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies (1993) and her Master’s degree in Health Education (1996) both from Penn State University, beginning her HIV service in prevention and care in 1990.