Nursing Commencement 2014: Speaker Bio

Dr. Barbara Aranda-Naranjo is the director of the Division of Training and Capacity Development of the United States Department of Health, Health Resources and Services Administration HIV/AIDS Programs. She has been a public health nurse working with underserved, resilient populations for 35 years and received her doctoral degree in community health nursing with distinction from the University of Texas in Austin in May 1997.

Aranda-Naranjo has held significant public health community leadership positions at the local, state and federal levels in addition to two endowed chair positions, one at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas, and the other at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.  She is recognized as a leader in nursing and public health for her tireless efforts in improving the quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States and Africa.

Prior to her current position as the director of the Division of Training and Capacity Development, Aranda-Naranjo was the director of the Global HIV/AIDS Program Office in the HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB), working as a partner agency within the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief providing HIV/AIDS prevention training, capacity development, and care and treatment in 21 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and India. She has also held other leadership positions in HAB serving as the director of the Division of Service Systems, acting director of the Office of Science and Epidemiology, deputy division director of the Division of Community-Based Programs and branch chief of the Special Projects of National Significance programs. 

Prior to coming to the federal government Aranda-Naranjo held a number of leadership positions for public health programs in Texas including assistant director of the South Texas AIDS Center for Children and Families, a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Part D program, health director for Providence Home, a residential respite and learning center for children/families living with HIV/AIDS in South Texas, and senior research nurse in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Texas Health Science Center.

Aranda-Naranjo has served on local, state and national committees including the San Antonio Planning Council, Texas Nurses Association board member, Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) under President Bill Clinton, HRSA AIDS Advisory Committee, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Board under Dr. David Satcher.

Aranda-Naranjo has received numerous honors and awards of which her most cherished one is from Assistant Secretary for Health James Mason of the United States Department of Health and Human Services on October 4, 1989, “for selfless dedication, compassion service and outstanding leadership in providing nursing care to people with HIV infection and AIDS.”

Aranda-Naranjo has been married for 26 years to retired Chief Master Sergeant Sonny Naranjo, who has supported her career and dedication to working with underserved, resilient populations. She has seven brothers and one sister, who also are a great support.