Public Health Leadership in a Crisis: Themes from the Literature


  • Zin M. Htway Walden University California State University Channel Islands
  • Cassandra Casteel California State University Channel Islands



Leadership, public health.


Recent catastrophic events and subsequent effects of leadership on afflicted populations demonstrates a need for improvement and increased managerial skill. The problem is catastrophic events create situations unfamiliar to many public health leaders. This manuscript was crafted from a review of 28 articles for the publication date range 1992-2012. Public health leadership in a crisis theorizes the application of four leadership skills: technical skills, interpersonal skills, conceptual skills, and emotional skills. A leader of a public health crisis will have to use these four skills for coordinating, managing, and direction of staff and resources. In addition to leading and managing public health resources, a leader in this role will also have to effectively communicate to the public and the media. This leadership theory connects lines of leadership skill to various stakeholders and collaborators. The importance of this leadership theory is for future public health crisis leaders to gain better understanding of the role of public health leadership in a crisis.

Author Biographies

Zin M. Htway, Walden University California State University Channel Islands

Biology and Natural Sciences, California State University Channel Islands, LecturerInstructional Specialist Stats, Academic Skills Center, Walden University

Cassandra Casteel, California State University Channel Islands

Biology and Natural Sciences, California State University Channel Islands, Student


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