Naya Villarreal

Naya Villarreal, MPH

Gillings Global Health Associate Director
Gillings Global Health
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Department of Health Behavior


Naya Villarreal, MPH, is the Gillings Global Health Associate Director in the Global Health unit at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.  The Global Health unit promotes and advances the Gillings School’s global activities in research, service, practice and teaching through partnerships, internships, outreach and communications. Ms. Villarreal manages Schoolwide global health programming, including global fellowships, internships, and travel awards. She develops international student programming, including an international student support pod to help international students provide peer support and a sense of belonging. She is co-developing programming around migrant health for public health and medical students with organizations in Tucson, Arizona. Ms. Villarreal develops and maintains the Global Health unit's communications strategy and website. She also advises students and student groups, and promotes the Gillings School's global health activities on campus and with our partners.

Ms. Villarreal currently serves as the Consortium of Universities for Global Health Campus Representative for UNC-Chapel Hill and is a member their Global Health Program Advisory Service. She is a member of the North Carolina Global Health Alliance. She was selected as a 2022 Aspen Ideas: Health Festival Fellow.

Prior to joining the Gillings School, Ms. Villarreal worked at Martha Eliot Health Center in Boston, MA, and served as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.  Ms. Villarreal earned a BA in political science from the University of California-Los Angeles and a MPH in international health, specializing in program management, from Boston University School of Public Health.

Naya Villarreal in the Gillings News

Honors and Awards

Aspen Ideas: Health Fellow
2022, Aspen Institute

Gillings School Staff Excellence Award
2021, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Representative Courses

SPHG 701: Leading from the Inside-Out

HBEH 520: Introduction to Global Health

Research Activities

Equitable partnerships and funding

Staff/Administrative Duties

  • Advise current and prospective students regarding global health programs and opportunities
  • Develops and manages global health communications strategy
  • Content manager of global health webpages and social media sites
  • Oversee the administration of the Residential Graduate Certificate in Global Health, along with the Associate Dean for Global Health
  • Manage global health internships/fellowships administered by Research, Innovation and Global Solutions 
  • Manages Schoolwide travel awards
  • Maintain communications/relationship with global partners
  • Advisor for the Student Global Health Committee
  • Assist the Managing Director in hosting international visitors
  • Promote global health on campus and with school partners


  • MPH, International Health, Boston University School of Public Health, 2012
  • BA, Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles, 2005