Cyndee Clay, Executive Director

Cyndee Clay is the Executive Director of HIPS, a Washington DC metro area organization the promotes the health, rights and wellness of drug users, sex workers and their communities utilizing a harm reduction model. Ms. Clay is an internationally recognized expert with over  20 years experience in program development, nonprofit management and evaluation for improving the health and safety of injection and non-injection drug users, sex workers, and transgender individuals.  She is a graduate of the UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Health Care Executive Program at UCLA Business School, convened DC’s first working group on drug user health, and serves as the DC Prevention Planning Group’s community co-chair elect,  DC community representative for the Urban Coalition of HIV/AIDS Prevention Services UCHAPS, and the DC Recovery Advisory Council.





Elizabeth Saracco, Director of Programs

Elizabeth Saracco has been with HIPS since Valentine’s Day 2003.Ms. Saracco works closely with the Executive Director in all aspects of program development and organizational goals. She is responsible for HIPS program supervision, evaluation and administration as well as acting as a liaison to foundation and public funders.  Ms. Saracco has developed and implemented numerous interventions including, “Choices” for NJ DOH  and “Charm School” for HIPS which provides peer support, health education, goal setting and advocacy geared towards women who use drugs. She has also worked as a consultant for NECAPT (Northeast Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies-) and has presented various workshops on peer based strategies regarding public health and issues around the sex work community at national and international conferences. Ms. Saracco possesses an AA in Liberal Studies from Harcum College, BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a MS in Clinical Psychology from California Coast University. While not doing HIPS stuff Ms. Saracco likes collecting 80’s punk and metal records, watching Arsenal F.C. matches, and experimenting with eye shadow.

Catherine Paquette, Manager – Outreach and Mobile Services

Catherine started as an AIDS United Americorps member serving for one year in the HIPS Outreach Department. She was born and raised in the Philippines, and received her BA from Wheaton College, where she studied Communication/Theater and Urban Studies. Before she came to DC, she did outreach to male sex workers as an intern at a Chicago non-profit; did research on public policy, enforcement, and the risks of sex work.  She also explores her passion for storytelling and advocacy as a stage actor and theater artist.