CPH Preferred



As the nation’s sole provider of public health accreditation, the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) seeks to advance and transform public health practice by championing performance improvement, strong infrastructure, and innovation. Over the past two years, PHAB has increased its capacity to provide services beyond accreditation in part due to doubling its staff after receiving the CDC Public Health Infrastructure Grant funding in 2022. This new capacity to serve the field holds enormous promise for PHAB to promote the health of the communities it serves, not just through accreditation but increased investments in education, technical assistance, and research & evaluation.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, PHAB seeks a visionary, dynamic new leader who can build on the organization’s recent success to support a healthy, vibrant public health field nationally and globally. The next Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will lead a team of approximately 50 dedicated staff and manage significant and growing resources: the current year’s budget is $24M, more than triple that of three years ago, and the FY25 budget is projected to be approximately $33M. The CEO will further refine the strategic priorities and goals, formulate and execute revenue generation strategies, continue to develop effective and efficient operating frameworks, and inspire support and partnership to advance PHAB’s mission. Strong candidates will have significant public health leadership experience; exceptional communication and ambassadorial skills across relevant fields and contexts, with capacity to articulate the unique value of public health accreditation; fundraising expertise, business and strategic acumen; experience leading, managing, and inspiring a diverse team; and demonstrated commitment to the values of inclusion, diversity, equity, and anti-racism (IDEA).



Founded in 2007, the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) is a national nonprofit committed to achieving the highest standards of public health practice and fostering quality improvement, accountability, and transparency within health departments. PHAB supports health departments in their work to promote the health of the communities they serve through accreditation, education, technical assistance, and research & evaluation.

PHAB promotes evidence and innovation to support health departments in their delivery of programs and services to drive performance improvement and strong infrastructure. Accreditation provides a measurement of a health department’s performance against a set of nationally recognized, practice-focused, and evidence-based standards. As the sole provider of national accreditation for state, local, territorial, Army, and Tribal health departments, PHAB provides an external, peer reviewed process for health departments to assess themselves on their ability to efficiently operate and effectively deliver essential public health services. In addition, PHAB has the only national dataset of peer-reviewed assessments of health department capacity, which can be used for benchmarking and research. Since launching its accreditation program in 2011, there are 42 states and close to 400 health departments currently accredited.

The PHAB Center for Innovation serves as a national initiative guiding public health departments in using innovation as a tool to drive change and improve health and equity. Through the PHIG funding, the Center is serving as the driving force of public health modernization in partnership with the 21st Century Learning Community. The 21st Century Learning Community is a group of states focused on intentional state-wide public health system transformation using the Foundational Public Health Services (FPHS) as a framework to strengthen infrastructure, improve performance, and rebuild trust in and accountability to their communities.

The current post-emergency stage of the Covid-19 pandemic has been influential in PHAB’s strategic planning process to ensure national quality standards are in place. The pandemic has created more awareness about public health issues among the general population, but there is also a sense of mistrust between the public and public health officials which has been influenced by extensive misinformation. In November 2022, PHAB was selected as one of three national partners and technical assistance and training providers by the CDC Public Health Infrastructure Grant (PHIG) which has resulted in a total funding award of $111M over the 5-year grant period. The PHIG grant has also awarded $3.4B in funding to support public health workforce, infrastructure, and data modernization efforts to all 50 states, territories, and large cities. The PHIG grant allowed PHAB to double their staff and for the organization to further expand capacity beyond accreditation. The projected budget for FY25 is $33M, a fivefold increase since 2020 that dramatically increases PHAB’s capacity to drive public health transformation and impact.



PHAB’s new CEO will join a dynamic and growing team at an important inflection point for the field of public health, as the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, political polarization, and other shifts in the landscape bring the challenges and opportunities for the field into greater clarity. Working closely with the Board of Directors and PHAB’s dedicated staff, the next CEO can expect to engage in the following core opportunities and challenges:

Guide Organizational Growth and Long-Term Sustainability

The new CEO will drive strategic planning for long-term sustainability and growth with awareness of the impact on employees, stakeholders, and operations. They will build trust and transparency both internally and with external stakeholders and partners, communicating openly about decisions, challenges, and progress. An innovator with business acumen, the CEO will foster collaboration across teams and departments to ensure alignment, continuous improvement, and success of organizational milestones and short and long-term goals. Looking toward diversification of revenue for sustainability and impact, the CEO will work in partnership with the board and staff to solidify PHAB’s business plan and focus on expanding beyond accreditation to technical assistance, consulting, research using PHAB’s data, and building out an evaluation team through the Center for Innovation.

Build Partnerships Across the Field to Drive Impact and Visibility

The CEO will build and enhance partnerships with regional and national public health advocates and key organizations across the field to advance PHAB’s mission. This includes expanding initiatives that engage health departments and other partners in collaborative efforts to modernize and transform public health systems and ensuring PHAB accreditation and recognition programs are accessible, relevant, and responsive to the needs of health departments as they evolve.

Partner with the Board to Advance PHAB’s Mission

PHAB’s board is a diverse and remarkably committed group of public health champions with deep experience and appreciation for PHAB’s mission and positionality. The new CEO will partner with the Board to further define, articulate, and implement PHAB’s strategic plan and collaborate to effectively articulate the value of accreditation to the public health sector and greater community. The CEO will consider creative ways to leverage the board’s expertise to scale accreditation, recognition, and public health systems transformation across the United States and beyond.

Leading and Developing a Talented, Committed, and Diverse Workforce

The CEO will be a strong manager and people developer who will lead a high performing executive team and departmental staff to achieve organizational and strategic goals. They will recognize that successful change isn’t just about systems and processes, it’s about the people who do the work daily and valuing individual and collective contributions. The CEO will cultivate a diverse community and culture that centers respect and belonging for all. They will bring discernment and inspiration to motivate the team by actively listening and understanding their diverse needs, aspirations, and challenges, and working with leadership to strengthen policies and processes in line with values and a healthy culture. As the team continues to grow and evolve, the CEO will prioritize the recruitment, retention, and development of a diverse, efficient, talented, and engaged PHAB workforce.

Drive Successful Fundraising and Stewardship of Financial Resources

The CEO will be a keen strategist who will build on PHAB’s recent fundraising success and growth, envisioning a sustainable future. A careful and strategic steward of resources, the CEO will maintain and grow PHAB’s reserve funds, regularly assess and update internal investment policies, and grow diverse and stable revenue streams to support achievement of PHAB’s organizational goals.

Key to these efforts will be to: (1) increase demand for health department accreditation by strengthening the understanding of its value and impact; (2) monitor all business and finance operations to ensure they produce desired results and align with PHAB’s overall strategy and mission; (3) identify and act on funding opportunities to expand resources for public health modernization, transformation, and innovation; and (4) pursue, secure, and maintain relationships with government, private, and public funders.

Promoting IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Antiracism)

The CEO will embody and champion IDEA (inclusion, diversity, equity, and antiracism) principles through PHAB’s programs, policies, products, and communications, and embrace the value that diverse perspectives lead to better decision-making and innovation.

Specifically, the CEO will (1) ensure internal policies and practices are aligned with IDEA principles specifically addressing systemic disparities and ensuring fair access to opportunities and resources in the organization; (2) take deliberate actions to dismantle racism and promote equality in all work related to public health and access; (3) conduct initial review of financial and procurement policies and practices through an IDEA lens and identify and implement evidence-based and evidence-building policies and procedures; (4) encourage respect and belonging for all stakeholders, regardless of their backgrounds and/or identities.

Enhance Organizational Infrastructure

The CEO will stay abreast of emerging technology, systems, and expertise to achieve organizational objectives and foster a culture of continuous learning that empowers employees to stay updated on industry trends and best practices. PHAB has bolstered its internal finance capacity and maintains a contract to outsource additional support and is focusing on strengthening systems and infrastructure including an organization-wide assessment to facilitate improvements in systems, software, and workflows. The CEO will work with the operations team to ensure staff are equipped with the tools, training and development, and resources necessary to achieve organizational goals and make data-driven decisions to enhance efficiency and effectiveness.



The CEO will be a seasoned and innovative leader with deep knowledge of and passion for the national public health ecosystem and a keen perspective on PHAB’s potential for greater impact on the field and ultimately on the health and well-being of all people. While no one candidate will embody all the qualifications enumerated below, strong candidates will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:

  • An experienced public health leader: A visionary public health leader with 15+ years of leadership experience and a record of executive leadership in a local or state public health department, a national philanthropic or convening organization focused on public health, and/or a governmental agency. Candidates must bring strong familiarity and enthusiasm for accreditation in public health settings. An advanced degree in Public Health or another relevant field is strongly preferred.
  • A strategic and disciplined financial leader: Demonstrated organizational management experience focusing on strategy and vision, operations, finance, and development for effective stewardship of resources within a growing nonprofit setting. Financial acumen and the ability to manage budgets, track, and forecast effectively.
  • Deeply committed to inclusion, diversity, equity, and antiracism (IDEA): Demonstrated experience creating internal policies and practices that support and advance this work and reflect commitment to equity and belonging in the workplace.
  • Intentional in leveraging the board: Experience partnering with a Board of Directors to ensure transparency and accountability in the organizational governance, finance health, compliance, and identifying current and future leadership needs.
  • A strong leader of people and culture:  Be an experienced team leader and manager with the ability to move people toward a shared vision; have a proven ability to motivate, manage, and support geographically dispersed staff.
  • A public health connector: A broad network of relationships across the national public health community or the social sector including private, family, and community foundations, peer philanthropic-serving organizations, policy organizations, and governmental organizations who support the work of PHAB.
  • Values aligned: A commitment to living out the values of public health and healthy living in the workplace; a collaborative, collegial style that fosters respect, teamwork, flexibility, and innovative approaches from a highly talented staff.



PHAB offers competitive wages and excellent benefits. While PHAB staff are primarily remote, this role will require travel for specific projects and conferences, team building, and other necessary in-person meetings. We estimate a starting base salary range between $325,000 and $350,000 annually with comprehensive benefits including generous paid leave policies, an employer retirement match, health, dental, vision, and HSA plans, life insurance, and short-term and long-term disability insurance.



More information about the Public Health Accreditation Board may be found at: www.phaboard.org.

This search is being led by Allison Kupfer Poteet and Emily McCarthy of NPAG. We invite applications with a resume and cover letter outlining your interest and qualifications via the portal on NPAG’s website. Applications will be reviewed as they are received, and we anticipate interviews in mid-to-late summer 2024.

Should you have questions, candidate nominations, or if you need assistance or accommodations in the application process, please contact Emily McCarthy at emccarthy@npag.com.

EEO STATEMENT: PHAB is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, veteran status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, or disability (in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act) with respect to employment opportunities.

DISTRIBUTED EMPLOYER ENVIRONMENT: The Public Health Accreditation Board’s staff currently work in a remote office environment. Employees working from home must agree to maintain a professional working environment with a dedicated workspace, including high-speed internet access. All staff are required to participate in in-person staff meetings that occur currently on a semi-annual basis for up to 5 consecutive days. These in-person staff meetings may be increased to a quarterly basis, as determined by management. Travel and related expenses for these meetings will be paid for by the employer.

VACCINATION: PHAB recommends but does not require its staff, volunteers, interns, fellows, assignees, and meeting attendees be up to date with an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccination series, including boosters. Other risk-mitigation measures, such as wearing masks in our offices or in meeting settings are also optional.