Advisory Committee

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The Environmental Health Matters Initiative is seeking nominations for full committee members!

Each committee member will attend ~3 in-person meetings per year and various conference calls to:

  • Create cross-sectoral analysis and trans-disciplinary understanding of environmental health needs and challenges.
  • Inform and assist leaders in public and private sectors to improve human health by preventing disease and other adverse health impacts related to the wide variety of environmental exposures and stressors.
  • Catalyze the development of innovative and comprehensive solutions to environmental health problems.
  • Facilitate timely and relevant communication to meet the needs of different audiences.
  • Inform urgent decision making.

Learn more

Updated: Tuesday, September 4, 2018


The Advisory Committee will provide expert oversight and guidance for the EHMI. During the first phase of EHMI, the Advisory Committee, together with liaisons and National Academies’ staff, will develop a strategic plan for the initiative and guidance on implementation.

 

Thomas A. Burke, Ph.D., Chair
Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Burke is the Jacob I. and Irene B. Fabrikant Professor and Chair in Health Risk and Society at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management. He holds joint appointments in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences and the School of Medicine Department of Oncology. He is also Director of the Johns Hopkins Risk Sciences and Public Policy Institute. Dr. Burke was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Research and Development. From January 2015 until January 2017 Dr. Burke was the EPA Science Advisor and Deputy Assistant Administrator for Research and Development. His research interests include environmental epidemiology and surveillance, evaluation of population exposures to environmental pollutants, assessment and communication of environmental risks, and application of epidemiology and health risk assessment to public policy.

Before joining the University faculty, Dr. Burke was Deputy Commissioner of Health for the State of New Jersey and Director of Science and Research for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. In New Jersey, he directed initiatives that influenced the development of national programs, such as Superfund, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Toxics Release Inventory. Dr. Burke served as a member of the National Academies Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology. He was Chair of the National Academies Committee on Improving Risk Analysis that produced the report Science and Decisions, and chaired the NASEM Committee on Human Biomonitoring for Environmental Toxicants and the Committee on Toxicants and Pathogens in Biosolids Applied to Land. He also served on the NASEM Committee on the Toxicological Effects of Methylmercury. He is a Fellow of the Society for Risk Analysis and a lifetime National Associate of the National Academies. He was Inaugural Chair of the Advisory Committee to the Director of the CDC National Center for Environmental Health and a member of EPA Science Advisory Board and Board of Scientific Counselors. Dr. Burke received his BS from St. Peter’s College, his MPH from the University of Texas and his PhD in epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Maureen Cropper, Ph.D.
University of Maryland, College Park

Dr. Cropper is a Distinguished University Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics at the University of Maryland, College Park.  She is also a Senior Fellow at Resources for the Future, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Professor Cropper served as a Lead Economist in the World Bank’s Research Department from 1993-2006 and was a member of the USEPA’s Science Advisory Board from 1994-2006, where she chaired the Advisory Council on Clean Air Compliance Analysis and the Environmental Economics Advisory Committee.  She recently co-chaired the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Assessing Approaches to Updating the Social Cost of Carbon. Professor Cropper’s research has focused on valuing the health impacts and health benefits of environmental programs, especially program to reduce air pollution.  She is an author of the recent Lancet Commission report on Pollution and Health.  Her current research centers on evaluating energy and environmental policies in India. She received a B.A. in economics from Bryn Mawr College (summa cum laude, 1969) and a Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University (1973).

Harvey Fineberg, MD, Ph.D. (NAM)
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Dr. Fineberg is president of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which fosters scientific discovery, environmental conservation, patient care improvements, and preservation of the special character of the San Francisco Bay Area. Fineberg previously held the presidential chair for 2014-15 as visiting professor at the University of California, San Francisco. Prior to that, he served as president of the Institute of Medicine from 2002 to 2014 and as provost of Harvard University from 1997 to 2001, following 13 years as dean of the Harvard School of Public Health. He has devoted most of his academic career to the fields of health policy and medical decision-making. He has served as the chair of 13 committees at the National Academies, as well as serving as a member on numerous others related to human health. Fineberg serves on the board of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the China Medical Board and previously served on the board of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. He helped found and served as president of the Society for Medical Decision Making and also served as a consultant to the World Health Organization. He earned his MD and PhD degrees from Harvard University.

James E. Geringer
Esri, Inc.

Mr. Geringer is currently employed as a senior director with Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI); the world’s leading producer of geographic information systems software.  Additionally, he is currently serving as vice-chair of the NASA Position Navigation and Timing Advisory Board for the U.S. Global Positioning Satellite System. Mr. Geringer served two terms (eight years) as Wyoming Governor, from 1995-2003, where he focused on improving education through standards, accountability and technology, modernizing Wyoming’s economic base to extensively include technology, changing how natural resource agencies among state, federal and local governments worked together, establishing community-based health and family services programs and implementing strategic planning and information systems.  While in office, he chaired the Western Governors’ Association, the Education Commission of the States, was the lead governor on energy policy and served on a variety of national and regional education and technology initiatives.  Additionally, he pioneered the designation of states and counties to have cooperating agency status under NEPA reviews and resource management plans. Previously, he served as a project officer for the US Air Force unmanned space programs for both the Department of Defense and NASA.

Mr. Geringer has served on numerous committees at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, including: the Committee on Successful Out-of-School STEM Learning Summit, the FEMA Flood Map Modernization Advisory Committee, America’s Climate Choices committee, and the Mapping Science Committee. Additionally, he has served on the National Academies Climate Change Education Roundtable and the Climate Change Education Project II: Education about Climate Risks to Ecosystems Advisory Board.  He is currently the chair for the State Advisory Roundtable for the Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS). He received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and attended graduate studies in automatic control systems from Kansas State University.

Kathleen McLaughlin, MA
Walmart Foundation

Ms. McLaughlin is senior vice president, chief sustainability officer for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and the president of the Walmart Foundation. In these roles, Kathleen is responsible for that focus on using Walmart’s strengths to create economic opportunity for individuals and foster inclusive economic development; enhance the sustainability of food, apparel, and general merchandise supply chains; and strengthen the resilience of local communities. Last year, in addition to business initiatives investing in people and businesses in supply chains, the company surpassed over $1.4 billion in giving worldwide, including $1 billion of food donations. Ms. McLaughlin joined Walmart in 2013. Before that, she spent over 20 years with the global consulting firm McKinsey & Company as a Director. She earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Boston University, and she earned a master’s degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

Jonathan M. Samet, MD, MS
Colorado School of Public Health

Dr. Samet is a pulmonary physician and epidemiologist. He is the Dean for the Colorado School of Public Health and previously served as a professor and Flora L. Thornton Chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine of the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) and director of the USC Institute for Global Health. Dr. Samet’s research has focused on the health risks posed by inhaled pollutants. He has served on numerous committees concerned with public health: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board; committees of the National Academies, including chairing the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation VI Committee, the Committee on Research Priorities for Airborne Particulate Matter, the Committee to Review EPA’s Draft IRIS Assessment of Formaldehyde, the Committee to Review the IRIS Process, and the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, among others; and the National Cancer Advisory Board.  He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.  Dr. Samet received his MD from the University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry.


EHMI liaisons are part of the multisectoral, expanding group that provides input and support. As the EHMI gets underway, the liaison group will expand.

 

Linda Birnbaum (NAM), Ph.D., DABT, ATS
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Toxicology Program

Dr. Birnbaum is the Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP), located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. She oversees a $740 million budget that funds multi-disciplinary biomedical research programs, prevention, and intervention efforts that encompass training, education, technology transfer, and community outreach. In most years, NIEHS supports more than 1,000 research grants. A board-certified toxicologist, Dr. Birnbaum has served as a federal scientist for nearly 35 years. She received a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and has held several different positions with both NIEHS and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology, a fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences, a Collegium Ramazzini Fellow, and a member of the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Birnbaum is an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and at Duke University. She is a former vice president of the American Aging Association, a former chair of the Division of Toxicology of the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, and a former president of the Society of Toxicology. She has served as a member for the Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine and the planning committee for the workshop on the Role of Chemical Exposures in Obesity at the National Academies.

Patrick Breysse, Ph.D., CIH
Center for Disease Control

Dr. Breysse is the Director of NCEH/ATSDR at CDC.  He leads CDC’s efforts to investigate the relationship between environmental factors and health. He came to CDC from the Johns Hopkins University where he served as Associate Chair for Educational Programs within the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Program Director for the Industrial Hygiene Training Program, and co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Childhood Asthma in the Urban Environment. During his 30 years at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Breysse established a long-standing expertise in environmental health as well as a strong record as a leader in the field. He has published over 242 peer-reviewed journal articles and has presented at more than 25 scientific meetings in just the past 5 years. His research has focused on the evaluation and control of chemical, biological, and physical factors that can affect health, with a particular concentration on risk and exposure assessment. Dr. Breysse earned his M.P.H and his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins. He has served on three committees for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Jennifer Orme-Zavaleta, Ph.D.
Environmental Protection Agency

Dr. Orme-Zavaleta is the acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Research and Development and the EPA Science Advisor. She has been with EPA since 1981, working in the areas of human health and ecological research, risk assessment, policy and regulation development, strategic planning, and program implementation. The focus of her experience includes the evaluation of risks to human and ecosystem health, and the influence of environmental change on human health in response to a variety of stressors including synthetic organic and inorganic chemicals, radionuclides, microorganisms, and vector-borne disease. Jennifer has held a number of positions within EPA in the Offices of Toxic Substances, Water and Research and Development. Most recently she served as the Director of EPA’s National Exposure Research Laboratory. She also served as the Interim National Program Director for Safe and Sustainable Water Resources, where she led the development of research to achieve safe, resilient and sustainable solutions to the increasingly complex water challenges facing US regions, states, tribes, cities and rural areas. Dr. Orme-Zavaleta received her B.A. in Zoology from Ohio Wesleyan University, M.S. in Zoology and Toxicology from Miami University, and Ph.D. in Wildlife Science and Public Health from Oregon State University.

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