Center for Public Health Workforce Development

The ASPPH Center for Public Health Workforce Development brings together academia and members of the public health workforce and the communities in which they serve to meet the demands of the moment and the needs of the future. 

Workforce Development

ASPPH serves as a leader and national convener for academic public health by educating and training the next generation of diverse and inclusive professionals and leaders prepared to meet emerging public health challenges, advance health equity and social justice, and generate evidence-based knowledge to drive excellence and innovation in public health practice. The ASPPH Center for Public Health Workforce Development brings together academia and members of the public health workforce and the communities in which they serve to meet the demands of the moment and the needs of the future. The ASPPH Center for Public Health Workforce Development’s mission is to develop and strengthen the public health workforce to protect and promote the health of all people in all populations. 


Collect and analyze data to monitor trends and forecast emerging training needs

The Center collects and analyzes data on public health competencies, curricula, institutions, faculty, students, graduates, practitioners, and the workforce. By monitoring trends in academic public health, public health practice, and the public health workforce, the Center characterizes academic public health and forecasts emerging needs of academic public health institutions, governmental public health agencies, practice partners, and accreditation and credentialing bodies.

Identify or develop tools, resources, and recommendations

The Center identifies or develops disciplinespecific and crosscutting skills and competencies to integrate into curricula along with related training tools and resources that meet the training needs of the workforce.

Mentor and train the workforce

The Center seeks to support applied learning experiences and to offer mentored training and fellowship opportunities that focus on promoting health equity, protecting the health of underrepresented populations, and eliminating health disparities. ASPPH Fellows are assigned to federal agencies, governmental public health agencies, or other practicebased organizations to apply knowledge and training and further develop their skills and make an impact in the workforce.

Partner and Collaborate

The Center partners with public health practice organizations, including but not limited to the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), and the National Board of Public Health Examiners (NBPHE), to establish and deliver life-long learning strategies to public health professionals.

Advocate for a diverse and competent workforce

Working with ASPPH’s External Relations and Advocacy team, the Center advocates for federal investments in public health workforce development, including efforts to diversify the workforce and reduce student debt to enable more people to work in public health at all levels.

Priority Projects

Composed of subject matter experts from ASPPH member institutions and partner organizations and chaired by Dr. Howard Koh, Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the ASPPH Public Health Workforce Task Force is advising ASPPH in the development of national training agendas for the public health workforce in the areas of leadership, data science and modernization, and applied practice.

Working closely with the Public Health Accreditation Board and the National Board of Public Health Examiners, ASPPH conducting a three-tier job task analysis of the governmental public health workforce to provide the evidence base for establishing the essential job functions, job descriptions, and job goals that are needed to ensure effective supervision and performance evaluation, which in turn support decision-making around governmental public health workforce hiring, promotion, training, education, and credentialing.

PH ACTS will collect critical career data on graduates of schools and programs of public health to inform infrastructure planning and to forecast workforce training and continuing education priorities. Want to learn more? Contact Christine Plepys, research and data analytics lead, at

Workforce Improvement Projects (WIPs) are public health practice projects proposed and funded by CDC programs and conducted by ASPPH and our members. WIPs focus on improving the health of populations while engaging the existing workforce and future health professionals in various areas of public health practice. ASPPH is currently accepting applications for six WIPs nearing $2 million in funding. You can learn more about this funding opportunities here.

ASPPH Workforce Advisory Committee

The Workforce Advisory Committee advises ASPPH on public health workforce activities, including measuring, monitoring, and forecasting the workforce and its continuing education, training, and professional development needs.

Kasia Czabanowska, MA, PhD, Habil., HonMFPH
Professor, Public Health Leadership and Workforce Development
Maastricht University, Faculty of Health Medicine and Life Sciences

JP Leider, PhD
Director, Center for Public Health Systems
University of Minnesota School of Public Health

Rodrigo Reis, PhD, MSc
Interim Co-Dean
Washington University in St. Louis – Brown School Public Health Programs

James Campbell, MPH, MsC
Director, Health Workforce
World Health Organization

Ellen J. MacKenzie, PhD, MSc
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Deanna Wathington, MD, MPH, FAAFP
Executive Director
Consortium of African-American Public Health Programs

Lori Tremmel Freeman, MBA
Chief Executive Officer
National Association of County and City Health Officials

Donna J. Petersen, ScD, MHS, CPH (Chair)
University of South Florida College of Public Health

Paul Halverson, DrPH, FACHE
Founding Dean
Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health – Indianapolis

Research & Practice Team

Dr. Emily Burke leads research and practice activities for ASPPH. She is the director of the ASPPH Center for Public Health Workforce Development, leading efforts to recruit, train, and retain a diverse public health workforce.

Emily Burke, EdD, MPH, CPH

Senior Director of Workforce Development and Applied Practice

Christine Plepys is the director of the ASPPH Data Center, leading efforts to ensure evidence-based decision-making in academic public health. She conducts research and assists ASPPH members in developing and implementing institutional research strategies.

Christine Plepys, MS

Research and Data Analytics Lead

Frank Smith oversees enterprise data management and business intelligence for ASPPH. He transforms raw data so ASPPH members can derive clear and actionable insights.

Frank Smith, MBA, MA

Data Architect

Sarah Gusman manages the ASPPH Data Center Portal and leads our annual reporting activities, ensuring the reports and dashboards provided to ASPPH members are accurate and intuitive.

Sarah Gusman, MPH

Data Analyst I

Kaitlin Tager supports efforts to recruit, train, and retain a diverse public health workforce through project management and program evaluation of initiatives within the ASPPH Center for Public Health Workforce Development.

Kaitlin Tager, MPH, CHES

Manager of Workforce Initiatives