Emma C. Olson, M.P.H, M.S.W.

Interim Executive Director

Contact Information

  • eolson1@unca.edu
  • 7715
  • 446 Sherrill Center

Emma Olson, MPH, MSW joined the NC Center for Health and Wellness in 2016 and now serves as the Associate Director. She works closely with the Executive Director to shape and implement strong internal systems that ensure the Center moves forward with key strategic directions. She helps oversee effective operations, champions ideas and initiatives, grows partnerships, provides guidance and coaching to staff, leads strategic planning processes, and informs community-based research and evaluation projects. She also leads the Culture of Results Initiative, providing training and technical assistance to partners across the state to understand opportunities, develop strategies, measure impact, improve over time, and effectively communicate results.

Emma has 13+ years of experience directing the development and evaluation efforts of a wide range of health, education and social service nonprofits. She has been responsible for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of extensive and varied programs focused on health, mental health, economic empowerment, education, and other social determinants. Emma was also a clinical social worker and health specialist at an early childhood center and an outpatient mental health clinic in New York City. Emma deeply values health equity and social justice and brings this to her work.


  • BA – Rhetoric, University of California, Berkeley - 2007
  • MSW & MPH – Clinical Social Work & Global Health Leadership, New York University - 2015

Leadership Positions:

  • United Way of Asheville & Buncombe County--Board of Directors and Equity Change Team
  • WNC Healthy Impact--Steering Committee Member
  • Western North Carolina Pathways for Nonprofit Leadership Program--Alumnae
  • UNC Asheville Healthy Campus Initiative--Leadership Team
  • Buncombe County Community Health Improvement Advisory Committee--Previous Chair and Member
  • Mothering Asheville--Previous Steering Committee Member