Kris Risley

Managing Director, Workforce

Kris Risley, DrPH, CPCC, leads the de Beaumont Foundation’s efforts to support the public health workforce, develop capacity, and lead change at the individual, team, organization, and systems levels by working collaboratively within and across sectors.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Kris was a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of Community Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, where she worked for 18 years. She served as a faculty member with the Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health and a faculty member and academic advisor with the DrPH in Public Health Leadership program. She also worked with the National Maternal and Child Health Workforce Center at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where she served as a member of the Change Management Core. Kris’ area of expertise is in the role that personal leadership (strengths-based leadership, emotional intelligence, reflection, and systems thinking) plays in one’s ability to lead change independent of their role or title. She trained as a leadership coach through the Coaches Training Institute and uses this skill set to work with public health students and early, mid, and senior public health professionals to unleash the natural strengths that live within them. She believes that connected, alive, public health professionals innovate and create to lead us into the emerging future.

In her early years at the University of Illinois at Chicago, she re-established and transitioned a national maternal and child health leadership conference that focused on developing technical skills to a retreat that focused on developing the leadership skills needed to lead change. This transition happened at a time in public health history when few were talking about the development of a leadership skill set and the importance of unleashing human potential. Today, the development of leadership skills is as necessary as the development of technical skills.

Kris earned her BA in psychology, her MA in developmental psychology, and her DrPH in Maternal and Child Health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.