Apply to Join the ELP Program Today! 
Applications due: May 19, 2024, 11:59 pm ET

About the Emerging Leader Program

Empower Your Leadership Journey – Unleash Potential, Create Impact and Drive Change

APHL's Emerging Leader Program (ELP) seeks laboratory professionals from state, local, environmental, and agricultural laboratories who are brimming with leadership potential and exceptional qualities. Applicants should be ready to embrace strengths, unlock hidden potential, and thrive on constructive feedback.

Throughout the year-long journey, ELP participants immerse themselves in a dynamic program designed to strengthen leadership skills, foster team building, and cultivate vibrant social and professional networks. Together, we tackle the ever-evolving challenges and opportunities within public health laboratories.

And the journey doesn't end there! Upon completion of the program, participants continue to connect with past cohorts, ensuring the ongoing impact of ELP and fostering relationships across regions to expand their network.

Join us in leveraging your experiences to empower your leadership journey and make meaningful contributions to the broader public health community. Let's embark on this transformative journey together, empowering ourselves and others, unleashing potential, and creating an impact that resonates far beyond.​

Learn more about ​​our current ELP cohort​

ELP Vision​

By the end of the program, participants will have honed their leadership skills, strengthening their proficiency in a wide range of essential competencies, which may include:

  • Skills necessary to advance into managerial and supervisory roles
  • Mastery of delegation and task management
  • Strengthened motivation, teamwork, and collaboration skills
  • Effective mentoring and coaching techniques
  • Heightened emotional intelligence for effective leadership
  • Improved stakeholder relations and advocacy skills
  • Advanced proficiency in conflict resolution and problem-solving strategies
  • Strategic thinking refined to navigate complex challenges
  • Expertise in change management methodologies
  • Refined communication skills for impactful leadership
  • Proficient resource management techniques
  • And an extensive range of additional skills vital for successful leadership​

ELP Expectations​

  • Attend up to three in-person trainings
  • Attend monthly virtual skills-based training sessions
  • Complete pre-meeting and post-meeting assignments
  • Participate in a virtual peer-to-peer coaching program
  • Collaborate on a project addressing a critical laboratory workforce challenge, which may require additional in-person meetings, virtual meetings and offline work
  • Participate in the Emerging Leader Community of Practice (an online forum)​

2024–2025 Program Timeline​

  • April 9, 2024: ELP Application Launch

  • May 19, 2024: ELP Application Closes

  • June – July 2024: ELP Application Review and Selection Process

  • July 2024 – August 2024: Announcements Regarding Selection of Incoming ELP Cohort

  • September 2024: In-person Orientation and Project Selection

  • October 2024: ELP Project Development

  • November – December 2024: Launch of Coaching Experience, Virtual Sessions, Activities and Assignments

  • January 2025: Second In-person Meeting and Project Pitch

  • February 2025: Virtual Session, Activities and Assignments

  • March 2025:  In-person Meeting and Team Building (Rowing Activity)

  • April 2025: Virtual Session, Activities and Assignments

  • May 2025:  APHL Annual Conference where ELP will give project presentation.

  • June – July 2025: Virtual Session, Activities and Assignments

  • August 2025: Final ELP Evaluation & Graduation

​​​​Are you an Emerging Leader?

​​Explore if the Emerging Leader Program is right for you

​​Becoming an "emerging leader" isn't bound by age or job grade. You might already be one without realizing it, potentially overlooking opportunities to fully realize your leadership potential. 

If you embrace qualities such as the pursuit of knowledge and growth, the ability to influence and unite others, a drive to create impact and transformative change, a visionary outlook for a better tomorrow, and a desire to empower both yourself and others through effective leadership, this program could be a great fit for you.

 To ignite your journey with ELP, take charge and start a conversation with your laboratory director to explore the nomination process!​

​Eligibility Criteria

  • Must be a US citizen, US National or lawful permanent resident

  • Must be currently employed full-time by an APHL Member Laboratory located in the United States or its territories

  • May possess a degree in microbiology, biochemistry, virology, clinical laboratory science, or a comparable technical field

  • Must have a minimum of 3 years of laboratory experience

  • Must be nominated by a direct supervisor or laboratory director​

​Join a Diverse Network of Laboratory Scientists 

​​Share Ideas and Maximize Your Opportunities

Upon completion of ELP, the journey doesn't end there! Stay connected with fellow trailblazers from past cohorts, ensuring the ELP legacy lives on strong. As an ELP graduate, you're automatically welcomed into APHL's Emerging Leader Alumni Network (ELAN), where you are invited to quarterly calls, engaging webinars, virtual activities, coaching opportunities, and in-person educational and networking events. Additionally, you are welcomed into the Emerging Leader Alumni Network ColLABorate Community, an online forum offering opportunities to engage in discussions with peers and share resources.​

Learn Why Your Peers Chose the Emerging Leader Program

"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, government relations officer, State Hygienic Laboratory, University of Iowa


"The ELP provided me with not only a series of tools to enhance my management skills that were invaluable for my career advancement but also with a network to allow for enhancements and improvements within my laboratory."

Dr. Laura Naught, deputy director, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services


"The biggest benefit of the ELP was the networking. Not only do you network with your fellow cohort members, but you become part of a larger community and you're provided the training that builds your leadership abilities."

Kathryn Wangsness, assistant bureau chief, Arizona Department of Health Services


"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​​​