Kelsey Louie, MSW, MBA, is the chief executive officer of The Door and Broome Street Academy. The Door’s mission is to empower young people to reach their potential by providing comprehensive youth development services in a diverse and caring environment. Broome Street Academy is a tuition-free public charter high school devoted to providing students the necessary skills and support to graduate prepared for a successful future beyond high school. Together, these two organizations serve approximately 9,000 young people each year.
Prior to this role, Kelsey served as the CEO of GMHC, the world’s first HIV and AIDS Service organization, from 2014 to 2021. His approach combines a rigorous data-driven management style, sophisticated evaluation processes, and commitment to staff development. Areas of expertise include HIV and AIDS prevention and care, behavioral health, addiction services, homelessness, LGBTQ+ issues, and family and children’s services.
At GMHC, Kelsey created a unique service delivery model that emphasizes continuous quality improvement to build stronger programs, create efficiencies, and improve quality of services for GMHC clients. His contributions have included leading the acquisition of ACRIA, a research based nonprofit organization, as a subsidiary of GMHC; overseeing the relocation of GMHC’s headquarters to its current home, saving the agency $600,000 annually in facility expenses; and implementing new programs such as co-located pharmacy services, supportive housing, comprehensive STI testing, and the Brenneis-Boger Hub for Long Term Survivors. He also expanded services for youth as well as the trans community and relaunched GMHC’s signature Buddy Program providing peer-to-peer psychosocial support.
Kelsey believes that good programming drives good policy and good policy drives good programming. As a social worker, Kelsey has keen insight and talent in his engagement skills with the client community and he is able to empathically connect with them on diverse issues, enabling clients to communicate their area of need with more insight. He has leveraged his decades of experience running programs to become a thought leader and leading voice in policy change advancing the health and wellbeing of people facing barriers to quality care. His approach endeavors to remain grounded in community by seeking feedback and promoting ideas that reflect the lived experiences and identified needs of those he serves. Recently, Kelsey was instrumental in changing the federal discriminatory blood donation policy for gay men and ensuring that people living with HIV were in a prioritized group for COVID vaccinations.
Through Kelsey’s leadership, GMHC has received awards such as the Gold Medal Prize for Organizational Management Best Practices, Harvard Business School Club Community Partnership Leadership Award (2019); the Gold Medal Winner for Organizational Excellence, Non-Profit Coordinating Committee and New York Community Trust (2017); the Organizational Excellence Award Winner, The Network of Social Work Management (2016); and the Partner Hero Award, HIV Experience Resources Organization (2015). He has been personally honored by GMHC with the Judith Peabody Humanitarian Award (2022); Notable LGBTQ Leaders, Crain’s New York Business (2022); the Power of Diversity: Asian 100, City and State (2020, 2021); Health Power 100, City and State (2020); Pride Power 100 Honoree, City and State (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021); Pride 50 Trailblazers Honoree, Queerty (2019); and Pride 30 Honoree, NBC News (2018)—and more.
Kelsey was appointed to the Task Force to End the AIDS Epidemic in New York State, and he was a contributor to the last two updates to the White House National Strategy to End AIDS as well as serving on the steering committee of Act Now: End AIDS, a national coalition to end AIDS. He currently serves on the Boards of Directors of NMAC (National Minority AIDS Council); Cause Effective, a non-profit organization that supports other non-profits through trainings and technical assistance; the Hudson Square Business Improvement District, and the Human Services Council. Kelsey is also a former Board member of the Network of Social Work Management; iHealth, a statewide collaborative of community-based organizations united to advocate and negotiate on behalf of HIV Targeted Case Management Programs; and Big Apple Performing Arts, the umbrella organization of both the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus and Youth Pride Chorus.
Kelsey has helped shape the national discourse on HIV/AIDS and maintain GMHC’s national and international presence through conference presentations and panel discussions. Kelsey has also appeared on television networks such as NY1, ABC News, WCBS Radio, and 1010 WINS Radio to discuss HIV/AIDS and other issues affecting the LGBTQ community. He has been featured in articles for Crain’s NY, POZ Magazine, and Plus Magazine, and has written op-eds for New York Daily News, the Advocate Magazine, and other New York City and national publications.
Kelsey’s past professional titles include chief operating officer, chief program officer, and senior vice president of HIV/AIDS Treatment and Support Services at Harlem United Community AIDS Center, Inc., where he worked for seven years overseeing the agency’s $42 million budget and managing operations, administration, finance, development, programs, and healthcare services for thousands of clients annually. Before that, Kelsey spent his early career in youth services, managing a foster care prevention program at the NY Foundling, running a community based substance abuse prevention program for adolescents at Veritas Therapeutic Community, and practicing as a children’s therapist at the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services.
Kelsey holds a master of social work from New York University and master of business administration from Columbia University. He presently is an adjunct professor at the NYU Silver School of Social Work, where he has taught for almost 20 years. Recently, he was one of 53 faculty members to successfully complete the Inaugural Antiracism Pedagogy Seminar and helped update the school-wide curriculum to reflect and promote racial equity, social justice, critical race theory, and anti-oppressive practice.