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Dan Merkan, Director of Policy

Dan joined the JASMYN team in February of 1999.  Dan has held many titles with JASMYN over the years but currently serves JASMYN as their Director of Policy. As an evaluator, Dan ensures the JASMYN team works to meet all of its contractual expectations, and that JASMYN is effective in reaching its desired outcomes.  Dan also works directly to support our in house Clinic and HIV testing site and is a member of the Florida Comprehensive Planning Network-HIV Prevention Planning Group as the Behavioral Science-At Large Representative. Dan also coordinates advancements in technology at JASMYN.

Over the past 13 years Dan has participated in a number of important groups that have advocated for positive changes in Jacksonville with respect to LGBT people.  Most recently he has been a part of the Jacksonville Committee for Equality which worked to amend Jacksonville’s Human Rights Ordinance to include LGBT protections.

Prior to coming to Jacksonville, Dan earned his M.A. in Counseling and Guidance from the University of Missouri–Kansas City while working for the State of Missouri in the clinical mental health field.  He also previously earned his B.A. in English and Psychology from what is now called Truman State University.

When not working, Dan enjoys singing, strategy and word games, cats, baseball, and traveling.

JASMYN has served as a supportive place for LGBTQ youth for nearly two decades and I have had the opportunity to see many young people come to accept themselves as LGBTQ with JASMYN’s support. I have had the privilege to see many youth become adults and in turn work to create a positive climate change for all LGBT people. However, we still have a lot to do so that all LGBT youth can have that experience, and that makes my job all the more meaningful.

- Dan Merkan