Date of Award

Spring 2023

Degree Type

Restricted to Claremont Colleges Dissertation

Degree Name

Public Health, DPH


School of Community and Global Health

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Paula H. Palmer

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

C. Anderson Johnson

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Jay E. Orr

Terms of Use & License Information

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Rights Information

© 2023 Amay V Singh


COVID-19, Crisis Leadership, Leadership, Public Health, Public Health Preparedness, Training

Subject Categories

Public Health | Public Health Education and Promotion


Context: The public health workforce encountered challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic that exposed areas for improvement in preparation for future public health threats. Key among these is well-trained public health leaders equipped with an array of crisis leadership skills. This study sought to achieve three aims in the COVID-19 setting: assess the perceived competencies of public health leaders; examine the training of public health leaders; and provide lessons learned regarding improvements needed for public health leader preparedness. Methods: Thirty public health leaders participated in a mixed methods study utilizing an online questionnaire and interviews. Participants were queried on demographics, education/training, communication, collaboration, self-efficacy, crisis leadership, and lessons learned. Findings: The questionnaire revealed gaps in crisis leadership, communication, and collaboration training. Interview results supported and expanded upon the quantitative findings, including the value of collaboration, communication, team wellbeing, and the utility of academic training versus practical experience. Conclusions: Findings suggested that although many of the skills needed are competencies for accredited public health training programs, effective leadership during public health emergencies may require additional training beyond what is generally provided. Recommended training courses included communication, ICS training, team wellbeing management, collaboration with external stakeholders, navigating public backlash, and leading in a virtual setting. These findings will aid programs and practitioners alike in creating and implementing strategies to ensure that the public health workforce is motivated and prepared for future crises.



Available for download on Wednesday, July 10, 2024