Gillings Experts in Residence are invited or competitively selected from think tanks, businesses, non-profit organizations, and academia in order to devote their time, expertise, and leadership towards key projects that enhance the mission of the school. These professorships are funded through the 2007 Gillings Gift.

Current Leaders


Sheila Leatherman, CBE, Hon FRCP

Sheila Leatherman

Sheila Leatherman’s professional experience stretches across the breadth of health care management, public health and health policy with expertise in quality of care, performance improvement in the health sector, and health systems reforms. She has worked with over 50 countries globally across Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America and North America. Most of her research and policy analysis has been on developing methods to assess health system performance and advising governments on how to improve quality of care in countries throughout the world.

She was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2002 as a member of the Institute of Medicine. In 2007 she was awarded the honor of Commander of the British Empire (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth II for her work in the National Health Service for over a decade and was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP) in the UK in 2008. In 2019, she received the Presidential Distinction Award of the International Society for Quality in recognition of her work in low- and medium-income countries. In May of 2020, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative appointed her to the Polio Transition Independent Monitoring Board, which assures functions needed to maintain a polio-free world are mainstreamed into public health programs globally.

Currently, as a Lead Advisor to the World Health Organization (WHO) she develops the academic and technical foundations for WHO support of Member States in the development of national health care quality agendas to improve health care services and outcomes globally.  Her current research focuses on improving health care in extreme adversity and is the academic foundation for the 2021 WHO publication, Quality of Care in Fragile, Conflict-Affected and Vulnerable Settings: Taking Action (2020).


Through her work as a Gillings Global Advisor with Research, Innovation and Global Solutions, she is developing a Gillings Humanitarian Health Initiative (HHI). Currently, two billion people live in countries where development outcomes are affected by fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV). The GHI aims to strengthen internal efforts to grow interest and institutional capability, seek funding, strengthen partnerships and create standing capacity to provide service and support through faculty and student participation. Activities will include education and awareness-building, internships, service projects and advocacy.

Sheila Leatherman named first Gillings Visiting Professor

Don Holzworth, MS

Don Holzworth

Don Holzworth

Don Holzworth serves as the Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Gillings School of Global Public Health, as well as chairman of the Gillings School’s Advisory Council. He applies his extensive entrepreneurial business experience for the benefit of faculty and students.

Holzworth is the former founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Constella Group, a leading global provider of public health policy and implementation, as well as a clinical development service operating in more than 60 countries. The company was sold to SRA International in 2007. Mr. Holzworth also was the founder and chairman of a UNC spinout, Expression Analysis, Inc., which was a genomic services company that was sold to Quintiles (now IQVIA) in 2012. He also served as executive chairman of a UNC spinout, Bivarus, Inc., a patient-centered analytics company sold to Press Ganey in 2018.
Most recently his experience includes serving as chairman of another UNC spinout, Couplet Care, Inc. which has revolutionized the design of infant care bassinets. He was former chairman of Health Decisions, Inc., a women’s health clinical research organization before its sale to Premier Research Inc. in 2021. And he was a founding board member of Veritas Collaborative, a specialty behavioral health hospital system serving patients with severe eating disorders, and served on the board of UNC’s Senior Alliance Accountable Care Organization.


2018 Triangle Global Health Champion Award, Triangle Global Health Consortium
2007-2008 Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS
2005 Carolinas Entrepreneur of the Year, Ernst & Young
2003 & 2007 Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, North Carolina Council for Entrepreneurial Development

Don and Jennifer Holzworth funded the Don and Jennifer Holzworth Distinguished Professorship. Read more.


Leah M. Devlin, DDS, MPH

Leah Devlin

Leah Devlin

Leah Devlin was extremely effective in her role from 2009-2023 as Gillings Practitioner in Residence at the  Gillings School of Global Public Health. During her tenure, she worked with faculty, students and staff to effectively talk with state leaders and residents about the many ways that Gillings can and does serve North Carolina. In addition, Devlin was a consultant to the Research Triangle Institute, International (RTI). Devlin has served as North Carolina’s State Health Director from 2001 to 2009 and as the Local Health Director for Wake County Health Department for ten years. Devlin currently serves on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation Board and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Board. She is a Past-President of the Association of State and Territorial Health Directors. Her honors include the UNC’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Devlin earned her bachelor’s, dental and master’s degree in public health at UNC Chapel Hill.

Seizing Leadership Opportunities to Improve Public Health

Ed Baker interviews Leah Devlin on The Practice of Leadership


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