Lisa Carlson, MPH, MCHES

Immediate Past-President

Lisa Carlson

Appointed: November 2018
Term Ending: October 2021

Following the wise advice of mentors, I joined APHA and the Georgia Affiliate 25 years ago. I’ve since attended every Annual Meeting but one and have served in leadership positions for both associations.

I was honored to be elected GPHA’s youngest president, and simultaneously chaired APHA’s Local Host Planning Committee. Across APHA, I chaired the PHEHP Section, and the ISC, where I helped obtain voting rights for ISC, CoA, and Student Assembly, and linked ISC to the now joint CoA/ISC Candidates’ Forum. I served five years on the Executive Board and was elected as chair during my third year. I have served on APHA-wide task forces and committees, including the Task Force on Joint Membership and the Improvement Workgroup. My service to APHA has provided me with a broad understanding of the Governing Council’s values and range of perspectives, having sat on three sides of the hall – for PHEHP, as Georgia ARGC, and with the Executive Board – for a total of 10 years. I have been honored by PHEHP with a practitioner’s award and by GPHA with Lifetime Honorary Membership.

Over the last 25 years, I have worked in public health and medicine at the intersection of health sciences, research administration and practice. Throughout, APHA has been my touchstone; though few of those years have been in traditional public health settings, all have drawn upon my passion for connecting sound science to effective administration.

Working at a voluntary health agency taught me how to navigate volunteer and staff partnership and communication. Then, over 16 years in senior leadership at Emory University, I facilitated annual funding growth in transplant research from $8.1M to $29M and launched the largest sponsored award ever received at Emory ($78M), leading the establishment (20 months ahead of schedule) of six international childhood mortality surveillance sites. Teaching has taught me to be a patient listener and mentor. Today, I build programs and solve problems that impact research across the School of Medicine missions. Every professional role I’ve held has been newly created. Together, they equipped me with flexibility, comfort with change, and a good sense of humor.