Leadership Development

At Berkeley Public Health, a cornerstone of our mission is to develop diverse leaders for professional and research careers.

We accomplish this not only through our undergraduate, masters, and doctoral programs, but also by providing students with opportunities for additional leadership training and experience through the Center for Public Health Practice and Leadership (CPHPL).

What do we mean by leadership?

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

At CPHPL, we are not only addressing 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.

Student Opportunities for Leadership Development

Leadership Day

To kick-off the school year, CPHPL invites newly admitted Berkeley Public Health students to attend the annual Leadership Day every August. This is one of the first opportunities for students to interact with current and former students, professors, and community leaders before classes begin. Students also learn about the many opportunities for practicing leadership in the diverse field of public health and how they can take advantage of their time at Berkeley Public Health to develop their leadership skills.

Leadership Boot Camps

In consideration of the requisite skills needed for successful careers as leaders in the field of public health, CPHPL offers Leadership Boot Camps, or half-day trainings, that are held at the start of every semester. All Berkeley Public Health students are invited to take part in these Bootcamps, which are designed to train students with fundamental leadership skills that will help them find the internships and jobs they desire. Boot Camp trainings reflect the challenges involved working in our field of public health (e.g., bridging different academic disciplines and problem-solving approaches) and include topics such as public health leadership, teamwork, organizational awareness, and personal branding. These Boot Camps are designed to complement the general cycles and momentum within the student experience while at Berkeley Public Health and are generously funded by the Eustace-Kwan Family Foundation.

Public Health 291 Course

In Spring 2020, CPHPL will launch a Public Health Leadership course, PH 291, to prepare MPH students to lead and influence in the spheres they find themselves in both during school and after graduation. Our vision is to foster an environment of open dialogue and to encourage each student to think critically about how to define and apply models of leadership, communicate and negotiate in organizational environments, empower others, guide decision-making, and collaborate effectively in teams, all within the context of diverse public health practice. Much like our leadership boot camps and other offerings, this course will foster an active learning environment through a combination of lecture, discussion, role-play exercises, and real-world application of learning around public health leadership.

Additional Resources

Berkeley Public Health Student Group Support

In partnership with the Diversity Respect Equity Action Multiculturalism (DREAM) Office, we offer support to the various student groups that are housed within DREAM and CPHPL. We have a dedicated graduate-level Student Group Specialist, who serves as a liaison, advisor, and trainer to the board members of student groups, such as Asian & Pacific Islander (API) Women’s Circle, Black Advocates for Equity in Health (BAEH), Borders & Bodies Collective (BBC), Cal Student Assistance for Public Health (Cal STAPH), and the Student Collaborative for Impact Leadership (SCIL).

The CPHPL Leadership Toolkit

The CPHPL Leadership Toolkit is a practical “go-to” resource with leadership tools and frameworks that can be applied to be more effective in one’s projects, internships, and jobs. The tools provide content in areas of leadership that public health employers and Berkeley Public Health faculty, students, and alumni have identified as essential for success, such as leadership authenticity, building teams, communication, and strategic problem-solving.

To learn more, visit the CPHPL Toolkit website.

Library Collection on Leadership Development

CPHPL has partnered with the Public Health Library to provide students with a book collection on a variety of topics for your leadership and professional development. Expand your knowledge and sharpen your skillset as you learn from industry leaders on topics such as: negotiation, participatory decision-making, building teams, effective communication, project management, influential leadership, managing up, and change management. We welcome you to peruse the list of recommended books here.