Allan Clear, the former executive director of the Harm Reduction Coalition (HRC), stepped down from the organization in January to take a new job with the New York State Department of Health. Clear, 55, accepted the position of director of drug user health at the state health department’s AIDS Institute.

Over the past 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.

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.