Leadership Development

At the School of 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 & 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 the 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

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 UC Berkeley School of Public Health faculty, students, and alumni have identified as essential for success, such as leadership authenticity, building teams, and strategic problem-solving. Learn more.

Leadership Day

To kick-off the school year, the CPHPL invites newly admitted School of Public Health students to attend the annual Leadership Day. 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 the School of Public Health to develop their leadership skills. More details here.

Leadership Bootcamps

In consideration of the requisite skills needed for successful careers as leaders in the field of public health, the CPHPL offers Leadership Bootcamps, or half-day trainings, that are held at the start of every semester. All SPH 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. Bootcamp 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 Bootcamps are designed to complement the general cycles and momentum within the student experience while at the SPH and are generously funded by the Eustace-Kwan Family Foundation.

The Student Collaborative for Impact Leadership (SCIL)

The Student Collaborative for Impact Leadership (SCIL) is a professional, student-run organization whose vision is to empower students to become leaders in the public health field. It's comprised of students from every concentration at the School of Public Health and is governed by a student board who gain valuable experience learning how to build and manage a decision-making body. Learn more

The Advocacy Initiative

The ability to bring about evidence-based systemic policy change is a core skill of successful leaders. Policy change is accomplished by advocating for health policies that result in better community health.  High-impact organizations realize that they cannot achieve large-scale social change through service delivery alone. Through policy advocacy, they acquire government resources; change practices, regulations, and legislation; and enforce laws intended to protect public health. Successful health policy advocates lead through personal and professional integrity, creativity, risk taking, teamwork, and partnerships. The Advocacy Initiative offers the opportunity to practice and become proficient in these skills in the classroom and through working within communities advocating for better health. Learn more.

Past Programs:

The Center for Health Leadership 

The Center for Health Leadership (CHL) was founded in 2008 to enhance the School's ability to inspire and prepare graduate students to be effective health leaders and professionals.

Since 2008, the CHL has enhanced the School's curricular, co-curricular and experiential offerings to inspire and prepare graduate students to be effective health leaders and professionals and to learn how to "lead from where you are." It achieved this by uilding on and expanding the leadership development activities offered through the Center for Public Health Practice (CPHP) and throughout the School of Public Health.

In late summer of 2016, we unified our name to Center for Public Health Practice & Leadership (CPHPL) to reflect our shared values across programs and our ongoing commitment to support students, faculty, alumni and practitioners to achieve excellence in practice and leadership as they promote individual community health.

Core offerings included classes and workshops, an 18-month leadership fellows program, the Center for Health Leadership Association (now known as the Student Collaborative for Impact Leadership), and conferences, events and workshops for alumni and public health professionals. All were based on the core guiding principles of action-based learning, the value of diversity, and the belief that everyone can be a leader, and that we can lead from wherever we are. Learn more.