March 2, 2017

Dr. Dorothy Cilenti

Dr. Dorothy Cilenti

Dorothy Cilenti, DrPH, clinical associate professor of maternal and child health at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, was named interim Orange County (N.C.) health director, effective March 1. Cilenti will provide leadership for the department during the transition to a permanent director.

Cilenti has worked in leadership roles in local and state public health agencies in North Carolina for more than 20 years, including serving as health director for Chatham and Alamance counties and interim health director for Orange County in 2011. She currently directs the National Maternal Child Health Workforce Development Center, under a cooperative agreement with the United States’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

From 2012 to 2015, Cilenti, who also is adjunct assistant professor in the School’s Public Health Leadership Program and Department of Health Policy and Management, worked with the Gillings School’s North Carolina Institute for Public Health as an administrator in a program that accredits local health departments in the state. She has served as principal investigator for a number of state and federal contracts related to the state’s public health system.

“My primary goal is to keep the health department operating efficiently so a new health director can walk into a well-functioning department,” Cilenti said.

“Dr. Cilenti is the perfect person to serve in this interim role,” said Carolyn Halpern, PhD, professor and chair of the Gillings School’s Department of Maternal and Child Health. “She has tremendous expertise and  experience and is well-connected with health officials throughout the state. We are fortunate to have her in our department and pleased that she is willing to serve in this important role.”


Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications, (919) 962-2600 or

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