Dr. William Potts-Datema

In This Section

Dr. William Potts-Datema
St. Louis, Missouri
David Harrison Elementary, Springfield, Missouri (several others also)

Personal and Professional Information:

  • Doctor of Public Health (Health Policy and Management), University of Georgia; Master of Science (Guidance and Counseling) and Bachelor of Science in Education (Secondary Education), Missouri State University
  • Interim CEO, Society for Public Health Education, Washington, DC (2023-present; national professional membership association with independent state chapters similar to PTA’s structure)
  • Adjunct Professor, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, Connecticut (2019-2022)
  • Program Branch Chief, CDC Division of Adolescent and School Health, Atlanta, Georgia (2005-2019)
  • Director, Partnerships for Children’s Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts (2001-05)
  • Executive Director, Society of State Leaders of Health and Physical Education, Washington, DC (1998-2001)
  • Other professional service in public education and public health from local to international levels, including as a middle school and high school teacher and supervisor at the Missouri Department of Education
  • Father of 4 children living in Colorado, Missouri, Washington, and Japan, and grandfather of 2 grandchildren

PTA Involvement:

Current service includes:

  • National PTA Secretary-Treasurer, 2021-2023
  • Chair of 3 National PTA Committees including the Finance Committee (2021-2023)
  • Endowment Committee (2021-2023), and National Services Task Force (2022-2023)
Previous service includes:

  • National Board Member, two terms (first term as a youth member, second as a parent and former teacher)
  • Seven previous national committees including (most recent first) Nominating and Leadership Recruitment (NLRC), Comprehensive Campaign Cabinet, Strategic Plan Review, National Organization Viability (Chair), Cultural Inclusion, Health and Welfare, and Youth Services
  • Numerous other previous state and local committees at various times since serving as a PTSA youth leader

Community Involvement:

Current service includes:

  • United States Representative, UNESCO Chair for Global Health and Education, Paris, France
  • President, Foundation for the Advancement of Health Education (national)
  • Board Member of three other organizations: Action for Healthy Kids, CATCH Global Foundation, and the Missouri State University Alumni Association (Vice-chair)

Previous service includes:

  • Former Secretary and Treasurer, National Commission for Health Education Credentialing
  • Former Treasurer, Society for Public Health Education (national professional association with state units)
  • International organization board service: ASCD (includes state units in the United States) and the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (Vice-President for North America)
  • Additional national association board service: Action for Healthy Kids (Chair), American Association for Health Education (AAHE), and American School Health Association (ASHA) – all with state units – and RMC Health

Honors and Awards:

  • Life Achievement Award, National PTA; Honorary Life Membership, Missouri PTA
    Fellow of AAHE and ASHA and member of Delta Omega and Eta Sigma Gamma professional honorary societies
  • Six CDC awards for excellence; Distinguished Service Awards from Missouri PTA, AAHE, ASHA, and the Society of State Leaders of Health and Physical Education; Scholar Awards from Illinois State University and Texas A&M University; and numerous other national and state leadership awards (see LinkedIn profile)

William Potts-Datema portrait

Candidate Narrative

Dr. William Potts-Datema

As a PTA volunteer, I have served as National Secretary-Treasurer plus two additional terms on the National Board of Directors, one term on NLRC, and terms on nine other national committees (chair of four) and numerous state and local committees. PTA was instrumental in financing my college education, defining my career path, and building my leadership skills.

My career includes service in education and public health from local to international levels. I have held several national leadership positions at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and Society of State Leaders of Health and Physical Education in Washington, D.C. I now serve as interim CEO of the Society for Public Health Education in Washington, D.C.

Throughout my career, I remained an active national organization volunteer. I currently serve as President of the Foundation for the Advancement of Health Education and board member of three other national organizations. I previously served on the boards of two international and six additional national organizations.

From board service and my career, I have learned the critical importance of good governance with clear roles of board members and staff; effective communication; ensuring diversity in leadership and representation in decision-making; integrity and accountability in financial operations; respecting the unique roles of local, state, and national structures; and honoring and recognizing the contributions of volunteer leadership.

I am the product of previous PTA leaders’ investments in me, both through mentoring and their endowment contributions. High priorities as President-elect will be developing leaders and strengthening National PTA’s services for state and local units.

As a parent of four and grandparent of two, I understand the critical importance of a vital National PTA. I would be honored to give back to the organization I love as your national President-Elect.