Claudia Fernandez is a specialist in leadership development and team building at the North Carolina Institute for Public Health, the School of Public Health, at the University North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a Registered Dietitian, she has a particular interest in leadership in healthcare systems and high-performing healthcare and public health teams. Currently she directs the American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians ACOG Leadership Institute and serves as the Leadership Core Director for the Food Systems Leadership Institute, a Kellogg Foundation—National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges funded 2-year fellowship program for Deans of US Schools of Agriculture. She has co-created and/or led several leadership institutes, including the Managing in Turbulent Times: the Kellogg Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Health Program, the Southeast Public Health Leadership Institute, and Leadership Novant for the Novant Health Care System. She currently provides executive coaching to institute fellows and external C-level clients. She is certified in several psychological instruments used in leadership development, including the Bar-On Emotional Intelligence Instrument, the FIRO-B, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the Change Style Indicator, and the CPI 260, which she uses both in group workshops and private coaching. She uses values-based coaching, appreciative inquiry, and learning simulations in her programs.
She has taught nutrition to medical students both at UNC and at Duke. At UNC she taught the graduate level Psychology of Eating course and specialized in the treatment of obesity, compulsive eating, bulimia and anorexia nervosa and disordered eating. She co-wrote several CD-ROMs for the Nutrition in Medicine series, which teaches nutrition to medical students. She was a contributing author to Eating Well, Living Well with Diabetes, co-created an eating disorder prevention video for teens (The Female Athlete Triad), and has authored several scientific papers and book chapters addressing metabolic abnormalities of obesity, nutrition, and nutrition education as well as leadership. She was a nutrition and health columnist for five years for Carolina Woman magazine, a regional monthly publication with a readership of 80,000.
Dr. Fernandez earned her BS in nutrition from Miami University of Ohio in 1986 and her MS in clinical nutrition from Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts in 1988. She then pursued further education in psychology and counseling at the Harvard University Extension School and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned her doctorate in leadership studies in 2003. She worked in obesity research and treatment with world renowned researchers at Harvard for more than five years before joining the Duke Center for Living in 1992. In 1997, she accepted a faculty position with UNC. In 2001, she joined the North Carolina Institute for Public Health, the practice arm of UNC’s school public health.
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