Joseph Henderson, BSHRM, MPA

Distinguished Senior Fellow School/organization Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

As a Distinguished Senior Fellow for the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative Mr. Henderson focuses on the development of crisis leadership and navigating complex systems utilizing the Meta-Leadership Framework.  Prior to his current position, Mr. Henderson served as a Senior Advisor with Deloitte Consulting advising their leadership solutions group.  In February 2018, he retired from the U.S. Government following 33 years of public service.

As a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES), Mr. Henderson was the Director of the Office of Safety, Security, and Asset Management at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He was responsible for a budget of $320 million and overseeing a staff of 435 professionals and 2,500 contractors and assured CDC employees and contractors operate in a safe and secure environment at sixteen locations in the United States and Puerto Rico and in over seventy countries globally.

Prior to this assignment he served in several senior positions at the CDC, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Scientific Technologies Corp. and Cerner Corporation.

While at CDC, Mr. Henderson also served as the CDC Senior Management Official in New York State providing strategic oversight of CDC’s annual investment of $630 million across 233 grant programs, established key linkages with public health leaders in the state and assured a coordinated response for CDC during public health emergencies. In 2007-2008, Mr. Henderson served as the Acting Chief Operating Officer responsible for the agency’s budget of $8+ billion supporting over 15,000 staff and contractors.

Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Mr. Henderson was appointed the first Associate Director of Terrorism Preparedness and Response and Director of the Office of Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response at the CDC. In this capacity he was responsible for all of CDC’s public health emergency preparedness and response activities supported by a budget of $2.3 Billion.

Mr. Henderson spent over nine years in the United States Air Force supporting preventive medicine programs. Since 2003, he has held an academic appointment at the Harvard University School of Public Health to support the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, a program he helped develop. Mr. Henderson has a Masters Degree from the University of Oklahoma and a Bachelor of Science Degree from Wilmington College and completed coursework in pursuit of a Doctorate of Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

With over 35 years of experience leading teams of professionals Mr. Henderson remains interested in furthering the development of leaders to effectively solve problems, sustain solutions, and drive a long-lasting culture of high-achievement.