Bill Gentry

Bill Gentry coordinating a mock emergency preparedness drill.

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Bill Gentry, MPA

Lecturer, Health Policy and Management

Director, Certificate Programs, Health Policy and Management


Mr. Gentry’s expertise in disaster management and public health preparedness skills training benefits communities in North Carolina and around the world. Read More

Mr. Gentry worked for the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management for more than 15 years before coming to UNC in 2005, where he now directs the Gillings School’s Community Preparedness and Disaster Management (CPDM) certificate program, serves as the Assistant Director of Executive Programs within the Department of Health Policy and Management, serves as the administrator of the School’s residential Public Health Informatics (PHI) certificate, and consults with local health departments and first-responder personnel in countries as diverse as Botswana and Moldova.

As director of the CPDM certificate, Mr. Gentry ensures linkages between disaster preparedness education and practice are sustained through communication, collaboration and healthy local partnerships. In this role, Mr. Gentry has led first responders in Vance County, NC through a full-scale hazardous materials exercise involving a tanker truck and a school bus, which took place at an intersection in downtown Henderson, NC. Mr. Gentry has also led tabletop exercises for the Orange County, NC school system that addressed how the school community might cope with sheltering students and staff overnight in the event of severe winter weather, and numerous county public health strategic national stockpile exercises.

Mr. Gentry has participated in the North Carolina – Moldova Partnership for Peace Program since 1995 and has worked with the government of Botswana to assist in disaster preparedness planning. He has also responded to Hurricanes Katrina in Mississippi and Andrew in Florida, the World Trade Center disaster, the first Red River Flood in North Dakota, and run statewide operations for several tornados, floods and ice storms.

Mr. Gentry was at the forefront of the State Animal Response Team (SART), formed in N.C. in response to 1999’s Hurricane Floyd. Floyd left more than three million domestic and farm animal’s dead, and Gentry was asked for help form a network that could save pets and other animals during natural and other disasters. This effort evolved into the larger one medicine / one health initiative across the country which he still supports and participates in with NC Department of Agriculture and the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine.

Active Projects

  • Continuing education for county public health departments.
  • Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) training and exercising.
  • Operational Readiness for the men’s and women’s US Open Golf Tournament in June 2014 in Moore County, NC.
  • Continued work with the NC National Guard and the Partnership for Peace Program.


  • Botswana
  • Ghana
  • Moldova
  • United States



115 Rosenau Hall
135 Dauer Drive
Campus Box 7411
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7411