Gillings School Directory

Vaughn Mamlin Upshaw, DrPH, EdD

Vaughn Upshaw

Vaughn Mamlin Upshaw, DrPH, EdD

Public Health Leadership Program
Concentration Lead - Leadership in Practice
Public Health Leadership Program
For more than two decades, Dr. Upshaw has been supporting leaders and decision makers who are responsible for improving quality of life in their communities. As the founding director of the Association of North Carolina Boards of Health, Dr. Upshaw was instrumental in the establishment of the National Association of Boards of Health.  Working with boards of health, and serving on local, state and national governing boards, led Dr. Upshaw back to school in 1993 where she completed two doctoral degrees. Prior joining the Public Health Leadership Program, Dr. Upshaw was a faculty member Health Policy and Administration at UNC and a faculty member at the UNC School of Government.  
Dr. Upshaw directs the MPH Concentration: Leadership in Practice at the Gillings School of Global Public Health and is the Principal Investigator for the NC Public Health Leadership Institute. She works with leaders at local, state, national and international levels to help them effectively lead and govern their organizations. Her publications, research and teaching interests are centered on how to improve public health governance and leadership.

Honors and Awards

Gillings School of Global Public Health Teaching Innovation Award

2018, Public Health Leadership Program, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Innovation Pitch Competition Award, for “Budgetopolis: A Budget Simulation”,

2016, Conference of University Public Service Organizations,

Margaret Taylor Writing Prize, for “Getting the Right Fit: The Governing Board’s Role in Hiring a Manager”

2012, UNC School of Government

Fulbright Specialist Award

2011, Council for International Exchange of Scholars


DrPH, Public Health, Health Policy and Administration, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1999

Doctor of Education, Adult and Higher Education, North Carolina State University, 1997

MPH, Health Education, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1985

BA, Sociology and Anthropology, Ohio Wesleyan University, 1982

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