The Harm Reduction Coalition (HRC) is preparing for the departure of its longtime executive director, Allan Clear, who is stepping down from the organization in January 2016 to take up a new job with the New York State Department of Health, according to HRC.

Clear, 55, recently posted a farewell message on the HRC blog, announcing that he has officially accepted the position of director of drug user health at the state health department’s AIDS Institute.

Over the last 20 years, the advocate has been at the helm of New York City-based HRC, which aims to promote social inclusion, self-representation and social services for drug users, marginalized communities and people living with HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) across the country.

Demetrius McCord, deputy executive director of HRC, will be the acting executive director in the interim. The search committee for a new CEO will consist of board members, HRC staff, as well as several community members working with the organization.

Clear has pledged to maintain his roots in the harm reduction community, noting that in his new job he will be overseeing the expansion of syringe access, overdose prevention and other social and medical initiatives for people who use drugs across New York. The position is the first of its kind in the United States. 

To read Clear’s farewell message, click here.

To read the Harm Reduction Coalition’s announcement about the resignation, click here.