Chelsea C. Payne, MPH

Photo: Chelsea Payne
Associate Director for Management
Photo: Chelsea Payne

Current Role

As associate director for management and operations for CDC’s Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support (CSTLTS), Chelsea C. Payne, MPH, leads all management, operations, administrative, and fiscal activities for CSTLTS. This includes strategy creation and planning; development of plans, policies, and procedures to improve internal operations; fiscal planning, allocation, management, and oversight; hiring administration; and employee and labor relations.


Before joining CSTLTS, Ms. Payne was the health communication team lead in the Office of the Director, Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH), National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. In this capacity, she managed all health communication activities for DASH, including communication strategy creation, message development, publications, media relations, health marketing activities, and website development covering a range of adolescent and school health topics, including asthma management, youth health risk behaviors, nutrition, obesity, physical activity, and tobacco use. In addition, Ms. Payne co-chaired the annual Adolescent and School Health Partners’ Meeting, playing a lead role in communication and marketing strategy creation, session planning, speaker identification and coordination, contract management, budget oversight, and website and meeting materials development.

Before DASH, Ms. Payne worked in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control’s Office of Program and Policy Information, where she led communication activities for prostate cancer prevention and for the Comprehensive Cancer Control (CCC) Promotional Initiative. In this role, she managed a two-year CCC Promotion Initiative designed to increase awareness about and understanding of CCC. Ms. Payne oversaw communication contractor activities, supervised an ORISE fellow, and managed budget issues. To ensure that final promotional products met the needs of the key stakeholders, she developed and maintained relationships with numerous national and state partners, including the National Cancer Institute, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors.

Prior to coming to CDC, Ms. Payne was the director of education at the National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations (NABCO). At NABCO, she designed and implemented breast health marketing programs, wrote and supervised production of educational materials, devised public relations strategies and tactics to educate consumers about breast cancer and breast health, and created and executed national broadcast, radio, and print media campaigns.

Before NABCO, Ms. Payne worked at Porter Novelli, where she managed public relations activities for a chronic lymphocytic leukemia treatment on behalf of a leading pharmaceutical company. Prior to entering the communication field, she oversaw a tuberculosis prevention and control program for Montefiore Medical Center, which targeted patients enrolled in the center’s substance abuse treatment programs.


Ms. Payne received a master in public health in behavioral science and health education from the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University and a bachelor of arts in health and society from Brown University.

Page last reviewed: January 3, 2022