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  1. Gaskins Little, N. Ruth EdD, MPH
  2. Greer, Annette PhD, MSN, RN
  3. Moore, Justin B. PhD, MS, FACSM


A perceived diversity exists in the educational training of leaders in state and academic public health that isn't observed in other heath disciplines. To assess this perception, the present study describes the training and experience of state health directors and deans of schools of public health. Data were collected in 2017 for deans of schools of public health (n = 56) and state health directors (n = 49) in the United States. Results indicated that 56 deans had at least one terminal degree, while 14 state health directors did not. Women comprised 23 of the dean and 24 state health director positions. Years in current position were 6.91 for deans and 3.51 for state health directors. Thirty-seven deans and 22 state health directors held graduate degrees in public health. As public health leaders advance towards retirement; it is imperative that the public health professionals obtain relevant training necessary to become tomorrow's public health leadership.