Vaughn M. Upshaw has been a faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since 1996. She has held faculty appointments at both the School of Government and School of Public Health and has served as a member of the University’s Faculty Council since 2014.
For more than two decades, Dr. Upshaw has been supporting leaders and decision makers who are responsible for improving quality of life in their communities. After completing her MPH at UNC, she served as the founding director of the Association of North Carolina Boards of Health and was instrumental in the establishment of the National Association of Boards of Health. Working with boards of health, and serving on local, state and national governing boards, led Dr. Upshaw back to school in 1993 where she completed and EdD in Adult Education at NC State University and a DrPH in Health Policy at UNC Chapel Hill. Prior becoming a Professor of the Practice in the Public Health Leadership Program, Dr. Upshaw was a faculty member Health Policy and Administration at UNC and a faculty member at the UNC School of Government.
Dr. Upshaw grew up in global family. She lived in Afghanistan as a child and served as a Fulbright Specialist in Eldoret Kenya in 2012. Her great-grandparents, grandparents and parents dedicated their lives to building educational and health programs around the world. Dr. Upshaw continues this tradition at UNC where she helps students develop skills to improve quality of life for people wherever they live, work and play.
Dr. Upshaw directs the MPH Concentration: Leadership in Practice at the Gillings School of Global Public Health and is the Principal Investigator for the NC Public Health Leadership Institute. She works with leaders at local, state, national and international levels to help them effectively lead and govern their organizations. Her publications, research and teaching interests are centered on how to improve public health governance and leadership.