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Pestronk to retire in February 2015 as NACCHO Executive Director

During a NACCHO Board meeting in August, Bobby Pestronk announced his plans to retire in February 2015. “This followed discussion earlier in the year with NACCHO’s officers and Executive Committee,” reports NACCHO President Georgia Heise, “The Board accepted this news with regret, recognizing Bobby for his devoted service to NACCHO and expressing thanks for notice which affords the Board ample time to choose NACCHO’s next Executive Director.” 

The Executive Committee of NACCHO’s Board will serve as the Search Committee and work with an outside firm to assist with the process. Bobby said, “Among the most satisfying aspects of my time as Executive Director have been the feedback from local health department staff about the value of assistance and representation NACCHO provides; the quality of NACCHO’s engagement with funders and partners; and, the way in which NACCHO staff has regularly and successfully worked together to meet the many challenges faced in a rapidly changing environment.” In a note to NACCHO staff to alert them of his plans, Bobby noted that NACCHO’s success “…is the result of your work. I am confident that over the next six months and beyond, with your assistance and passion, we will see continued progress towards our vision of health, equity, and security for all people in their communities as a leader, partner, catalyst and voice with local health departments.” 

Bobby can be reached at 

President Heise may be reached at



NACCHO’s members are the 2700 local health departments across the United States.

NACCHO’s vision is health, equity, and security for all people in their communities through public health policies and services. NACCHO’s mission is to be a leader, partner, catalyst, and voice for local health departments in order to ensure the conditions that promote health and equity, combat disease, and improve the quality and length of all lives.

NACCHO is governed by a 27-member Board of Directors, comprising local and tribal health officials from across the country elected by their peers, and including ex officio members representing the National Association of Counties, of which NACCHO is an affiliate, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Robert M. (Bobby) Pestronk is the Executive Director and a past president of the NACCHO and a local health official.


NACCHO's media relations staff can connect you with spokespeople who can provide a timely local health department perspective on a wide range of public health issues and NACCHO's work including the following:

  • Community Health topics such as chronic disease prevention, tobacco control, health and disability, infectious disease prevention and control, immunization, injury prevention, maternal and child health, adolescent health, and health equity.
  • Environmental Health topics such as the public health effects of climate change, food safety, environmental health tracking and assessment, and environmental justice.
  • Public Health Infrastructure and Systems topics such as: accreditation and quality improvement, community health status indicators, public health informatics, performance standards, public health law, and regionalization of public health services.
  • Public Health Preparedness topics such as local readiness for pandemic influenza, Medical Reserve Corps, Project Public Health Ready, and Strategic National Stockpile.
Executive Director
As Executive Director for the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) in Washington, DC, since November 2008, Mr. Pestronk represents our nation’s local health departments and their staff who protect and promote health, prevent disease, and seek to establish the social foundations for wellness in nearly every community across the United States. Mr. Pestronk received an MPH from the University of Michigan School of Public Health with concentrations in human nutrition and health planning and administration. He received an AB in politics from Princeton University.

Prior to his position at NACCHO, he served as Health Officer in Genesee County, Michigan for 22 years where, among other accomplishments, he was recognized for: establishing the 26,000 member Genesee Health Plan, some of Michigan’s earliest public and work place tobacco control regulations, and Genesee County’s Public Health week conference; introducing a culture of efficacy, efficiency, accountability, and quality improvement within his department; reducing infant mortality rates and the racial disparity among those rates; increasing foundation and federal funding for the department’s work; involving local residents and his board in three five-year cycles of successful departmental strategic planning; and creating productive relationships with university and community-based organizations. His health department was fully accredited by the state of Michigan.

Mr. Pestronk is a member of the Board of Directors for the Ruth Mott Foundation. He is a past board member of NARSAD, the Mental Health Research Association, the Michigan Health Officers Association (of which he is a past president) and of the Michigan Association for Local Public Health. He is a Primary Care Policy Fellow through the United States Department of Health and Human Services and trained as a Scholar through the Public Health Leadership Institute. He is Past President of the Primary Care Fellowship Society and Past President of the Public Health Leadership Society Council. He was a member of the Institute of Medicine Public Health Roundtable and of the National Advisory Committee for Turning Point: Collaborating for a New Century of Public Health. He was the first President of the Public Health Law Association. He served on the Board of the Greater Flint Health Coalition, the Rotary Club of Flint (Michigan), Priority Children, and Temple Bethel.

The University of Michigan School of Public Health honored him as a Distinguished Alumnus, and he was the first recipient of the John H Romani Award from the Department of Health Management and Policy at the School of Public Health. The American Lung Association, Genesee Valley, has honored him as Professional of the Year and subsequently as Health Advocate of the Year.

Pestronk’s published work includes articles in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, the Journal of the American Public Health Association, Health Education and Behavior, Public Health Reports, and the Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Chapters in books include those published by the American Public Health Association and Oxford University Press.

Bobby Pestronk RMF210
Robert M. Pestronk, Executive Director