Gillings School Directory

John Wiesman, DrPH, MPH

John Wiesman

John Wiesman, DrPH, MPH

Professor of the Practice
Department of Health Policy and Management
Director, Executive Doctoral Program in Health Leadership
Department of Health Policy and Management
John Wiesman, DrPH, MPH, is a Professor of the Practice in the Department of Health Policy and Management (HPM) and serves as the program director of the Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) program. He brings 30 years of governmental public health practice to the Department. John is an accomplished transformational leader and focuses on whole systems approaches to improving the public’s health.

Prior to joining the faculty, John served as the Washington State Secretary of Health for seven years where he led the nation’s response to the first case of COVID-19. While serving as secretary he implemented a gender X option on birth certificates, spearheaded raising the legal age for the sale of tobacco and vape products to 21 years, implemented an infants at work program and led the effort to include the state’s 29 Federally Recognized Tribal Nations into legislation making them eligible for foundational public health services funding.

He has worked in four local public health departments in Washington and Connecticut. He started his public health career in Connecticut in 1986 and was in its first group trained to provide HIV counseling and testing services. John also worked at the University of Washington in the early 1990’s on a Back Pain Outcome Assessment research project.

He has been passionate about public health since reading a 1983 Time magazine article about disease detectives tracking Legionnaires’ disease, toxic shock syndrome and HIV. It was the impetus for him to enter the profession.

John co-chairs the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) and serves on the scientific advisory group of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). He has also served as president of both the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).

John was born and raised in Wisconsin. He and his husband live in Durham, NC.

Representative Courses

HPM 730 – Leadership and Workforce Management Strategies

HPM 810 - Leadership in Health Law and Ethics


DrPH, Public Health Executive Leadership, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2012

MPH, Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale University, 1987

BA, Biology, Lawrence University, 1983

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