Background: The UAB-ITREOH program has initiated a skill-based MPH program at Manipal University (MU), India, in 2009, to address the critical need for trained public health professionals and build institutional public health training capacity in the country. Methods: Funds from Fogarty have supported the curriculum development and specialized training of MU faculty to teach in the MPH program. Results: The program has been successfully launched and is gaining momentum. The lessons learned from our experiences as well as several challenges faced from the initialization to execution of the program are described in the article. Conclusions: Government support is crucial for raising the profile of this program by accreditation, creating job opportunities and by recognizing these professionals as leaders in the public health sector. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.