Our Framework

What do we mean by leadership?

We believe everyone can be a leader, and that we can all lead from wherever we are.

We address leadership in all of its forms. This includes not only organizational leadership (the type most commonly associated with the term), but also thought leadership (which includes research and teaching) and leadership through advocacy and community organizing. Whether we are called upon to lead in government, communities, non-profits, or the private sector, locally or globally, in public health or in healthcare, we all can develop ourselves to be of service to important goals by leading in a wide variety of roles and approaches. We see leadership as "stepping up," offering to be "of service," using our skills to help facilitate, organize, mentor, guide, and develop or advance initiatives, projects, policies and organizations.

Our Approach

The Center for Public Health Practice & Leadership takes numerous approaches to leadership development. We incorporate curricular experiences through the courses and workshops we offer or support. We provide co-curricular activities and many of these are experiential ways of learning. This includes the Student Collaborative for Impact Leadership (SCIL), the Fellows Program and the Advocacy Initiative. We have also offered continuing education opportunities for alumni and the broader Bay Area health communities through our Leadership Conferences, the Innovative Leaders Speaker Series, the 21st Century New Media Training Series, and the Professional Development Workshop Series, and by linking alumni with students to promote networking.

This approach to leadership is clearly discussed and clarified in the American Journal of Public Health article, "Redefining Leadership Education in Graduate Public Health Programs: Prioritization, Focus, and Guiding Principles" by Jennifer A. Lachance, DrPH, MSE, and Jeffrey S. Oxendine, MPH, MBA, Associate Dean of Public Health Practice.


2015 Fellows Community Health for Asian Americans (CHAA) Consultative Project Team

Because we believe anyone can be a leader, we work to improve the skills of students and professionals in order to increase their capacity to lead. To this end we have developed competencies that we specifically aim to develop. A competency is defined as a set of skills, knowledge, attributes and behaviors that are observable and measurable. It is the ability to perform activities to the standards required in an endeavor, using an appropriate mix of knowledge, skill and attitude. These are:

  • Communication: The ability to convey information to and receive information from others effectively in a variety of formats. Essential components include attentive listening and clarity in writing and speaking. Ability to effectively present information using visual aids. Use traditional and new media, advanced technologies and community networks to communicate.
  • Initiative: An underlying curiosity and desire to know more about things, people, or issues, including the desire for knowledge and staying current with one’s professional field. The ability to independently begin or to follow through energetically with a plan or task.
  • Interpersonal Skills: The ability to treat others with respect, trust, and dignity; Work well with others by being considerate of the needs and feelings of each individual; Promote a productive culture by valuing individuals and their contributions. The ability to accurately understand the unspoken or partly expressed thoughts, feelings, and concerns of others.
  • Organizational Awareness: The ability to understand and learn the formal and informal decision-making structures and power relationships within an organization or industry. This includes the ability to identify who the real decision-makers are and the individuals who can influence them, and to predict how new events will affect individuals and groups within the organization.
  • Meeting Facilitation: The ability to organize and lead a successful meeting including identifying intended meeting outcomes, setting an agenda, facilitating the meeting to achieve meeting outcomes, gaining agreement on next steps, and documenting agreements made at the meeting.
  • Project Management: The ability to plan, execute, monitor, and evaluate projects involving the deployment of multiple resources such as human resources, financial resources and technology resources. The ability to successfully complete projects on time, within budget, and to the satisfaction of all parties participating in the project.
  • Professional Integrity: The demonstration of ethics and professional practices as well as social accountability and community stewardship. The desire to act in a way that is consistent with one’s values and what one says is important. This definition includes demonstrating general leadership ethics, such as honesty and responsibility, as well as behaving in a culturally competent manner.
  • Relationship Building: The ability to establish, build and sustain personal and professional relationships for the purpose of building networks of people that can be mobilized to support projects and activities.
  • Self-Confidence: A belief and conviction in one’s own ability, success, and decisions or opinions when executing plans and projects, or addressing challenges.
  • Self-Development and Awareness: The ability to see an accurate view of one’s own strengths and development needs, including one’s impact on others. A willingness to address needs through reflective, self-directed learning and to try new leadership approaches.
  • Strategic Thinking and Problem Solving: The ability to anticipate future developments and obstacles and translate them into opportunities in the present. The ability to understand a situation, issue or problem by breaking it into smaller pieces. The ability to apply complex concepts, develop creative solutions, or adapt previous solutions in new ways to solve problems.
  • Teamwork: The ability to develop and promote effective relationships with colleagues and team members; learn from others; seek diverse ideas and opinions to make decisions and draft plans; encourage team members to discuss concerns and conflicts openly rather than covering them up or overlooking them; solve conflicts to everyone's benefit



Everything we do is based on our values:

  • Promote “leading from where you are”
  • Challenge people to think differently and boldly about leadership & styles of leadership
  • Embrace & reflect a range of health leadership concepts
  • Accommodate different interests, learning styles & experience levels
  • Draw upon the collective experience of students, faculty, alumni & partners
  • Commit to diversity, equity & social justice