Team

Catherine Hanssens, Executive Director and Founder, has been active in HIV legal and policy issues since 1984. Previously, Hanssens was AIDS Project Director at Lambda Legal, where she led Lambda's HIV-related litigation and policy work. She also worked with the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, where she created and managed one of the first medical-legal partnerships in the country, with on-site HIV legal services in several hospitals and clinics. While a staff attorney at the New Jersey Department of the Public Advocate, Hanssens successfully litigated the state's first cases on involuntary HIV testing, a class action challenge to segregation and mistreatment of prisoners with HIV in the New Jersey state prison system, and the only federal appeals court case recognizing the right of incarcerated women to funded elective abortions. She also has been a visiting clinical professor at Rutgers University Law School-Newark and Director of the law school's Women and AIDS Clinic.

Arpita Appannagari, National Community Outreach Coordinator, earned her Master's degree in Public Health in 2015 from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, where her certificate focus was sexuality, sexual, and reproductive health. During her time in graduate school and before she came to CHLP, Arpita worked at the Women's Refugee Commission, the United Nations Population Fund, Engender Health, and Sakhi for South Asian Women. Her work at the Women's Refugee Commission included advocating for the sexual and reproductive needs and rights of refugee sex workers and identifying response mechanisms to gender-based violence in urban settings where refugees have settled. While at Sakhi for South Asian Women, Arpita created and implemented a Mental Health Assessment Form to for the first time systematically evaluate the mental health needs of Sakhi clients, all South Asian survivors of domestic violence. Arpita earned her B.A. in Biology, Gender Studies, and Spanish from Indiana University in 2013.

Tosh Anderson, Program Manager, earned his Juris Doctor from the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law, and a Master of Arts in applied anthropology from Georgia State University. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Georgia. Prior to joining The Center for HIV Law and Policy, he worked as a Law Officer and Special Assistant to the Executive Director of Human Rights in China, an international human rights NGO. He was an attorney at Gladstein, Reif & Megginnis, LLP, and Project Director at the New York Unemployment Project. Anderson has a long history of community organizing with the National Mobilization Against SweatShops (NMASS), where he also co-counseled Imperial Buffet and Restaurant (NLRB 2009), a groundbreaking labor case winning backpay and conditional reinstatement to undocumented restaurant workers.

Consultants 

Deirdre Reznik, Communications Consultant, handles media marketing and information design for CHLP digital and print assets. As a communications professional and art director, she has extensive experience across a range of markets and specializes in work with non-profit organizations and institutions of higher education. www.dpi.nyc.

Stephen Williams, Program Consultant, provides support to CHLP’s program staff and helps maintain the website and the HIV Policy Resource Bank. He was previously an HIV criminalization outreach specialist with CHLP. 

Message Agency, Web Developer, designed, developed, and maintains The Center for HIV Law and Policy's current website and content-management system. A media studio based in Philadelphia with significant experience working with non-profit, civil rights and arts organizations, their primary services include strategic communications, branding and messaging, web design and development, content development, and graphic design.