State Health Officials – Career Achievement and Sustainability Evaluation

What qualities contribute to effective state health officials (SHOs)? Public health leadership has been analyzed and written about, but few studies have examined the personal characteristics and experiences of state health leaders and what their leadership looks like in the context of their state. 

In partnership with Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and the de Beaumont Foundation, this project explores the experience of SHOs through interviews, surveys, and research.

By determining the model of a successful SHO, governors and secretaries will have a national resource of state health official historical data to better understand and analyze the qualities and backgrounds of potential candidates, to best prepare them for the job and to avoid career derailment.

Over the next year, the project team will share their findings through a series of presentations, articles, and more.

For more information about ongoing work, please reach out to Valerie Yeager at

Historic data

Use our database to search for current and historic State Health Officials.

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Current and former state health officials share their individual experiences as health leaders, and provide insights and advice for aspiring SHOs and anyone interested in the role of state health officials or public health leadership.

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