The complex issues involved in leading a state or local laboratory can challenge even the most skilled of today’s laboratorians. In addition to being subject matter experts in laboratory science, they must also be able to manage a budget, motivate staff, advocate for funding, build relationships with external partners and understand legislative processes. The Emerging Leader Program (ELP), sponsored by APHL’s National Center for Public Health Laboratory Leadership, provides mid-level laboratory professionals with opportunities to acquire these skills, preparing them to advance into managerial and supervisory positions.

What is the Emerging Leader Program?

The ELP is a 12-month leadership development program designed for public health laboratory professionals. Annually, laboratory directors are invited to nominate members of their staff for the ELP. From these nominations, six to ten individuals are selected to form a cohort class. The cohort participates in skill development workshops, networking opportunities, leadership exercises and project development.

Is the Emerging Leader Program right for you?

Being an “emerging leader” has nothing to do with age or job grade. You may be an emerging leader without even knowing it, missing out on opportunities to fully liberate the leader within. If you meet any one of these 10 requirements, then you already are or could easily be seen as an emerging leader. Talk to your laboratory director today about nomination.

Get Involved

The ELP recruitment process typically extends from late May through mid-June. All candidates must be formally nominated by their laboratory director. The number of applicants accepted ranges from six to ten annually, based on funding availability. Talk to your laboratory director about nomination. Also read our program brochure for more information.


“When you get a PhD, they don’t teach you how to manage things. There is not a program out there to train someone at the bench level and give them the skills and knowledge base they need to become a laboratory director. The ELP is filling this gap.”  Grace Kubin, PhD, laboratory director, Texas Department of State Health Services

“The training I’ve received has launched my career and made me a better leader. I’m able to take the skills I’ve learned and apply them. My career would have been different had I not participated.” Pam Mollenhauer, Governmental Relations officer, State Hygienic Laboratory at the University of Iowa

Past Projects

Public Health Laboratory Awareness Toolkit
Electronic Laboratory Employee Enrichment Toolkit
Public Health Laboratory 101