Howard Frumkin, DrPH, MPH, MD

Professor, Env. and Occ. Health Sciences (Primary department)
Howard Frumkin is Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, at the University of Washington School of Public Health. Dr. Frumkin is an internist, environmental and occupational medicine specialist, and epidemiologist, who has worked in academia and public service. From 2010 to 2016 he served as Dean at the School of Public Health. From 2005 to 2010 he held leadership roles at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, first as director of the National Center for Environmental Health and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (NCEH/ATSDR), and later as Special Assistant to the CDC Director for Climate Change and Health. During his tenure NCEH/ATSDR created programs in Climate Change and in Healthy Community Design; launched training programs for college students, doctoral students, and post-docs; expanded its Biomonitoring and Environmental Public Health Tracking programs; and launched its National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures. From 1990 to 2005, he was Professor and Chair of Environmental and Occupational Health at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health and Professor of Medicine at Emory Medical School.

Dr. Frumkin currently serves on the Boards of the Seattle Parks Foundation and the Bullitt Foundation, and on Advisory Boards for FutureHealth, the National Sustainable Communities Coalition, the Partnership for Active Transportation, the Planetary Health Alliance, and the Center for Design and Health at the University of Virginia School of Architecture. In past years he served on the Boards of the US Green Building Council, Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), the Children and Nature Network (including a term as Chair), the Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute, the National Environmental Education Foundation, the American Public Health Association (as Chair of APHA’s Science Board), the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC) (including a term as President), and the Washington Global Health Alliance.  He chaired the Wellcome Trust “Our Planet, Our Health” funding committee.  Other public and professional service included serving on the Executive Committee of the Regional Open Space Strategy for Central Puget Sound, the American Institute of Architects Design and Health Leadership Group, the National Toxicology Program Board of Scientific Counselors, the National Research Council Committee on Sustainability Linkages in the Federal Government, the Washington Department of Ecology Toxics Reduction Strategy Group, and Seattle's Green Ribbon Commission.  As a member of EPA's Children's Health Protection Advisory Committee, he chaired the Smart Growth and Climate Change work groups. A graduate of the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership, he was named Environmental Professional of the Year by the Georgia Environmental Council in 2004. His research interests include public health aspects of the built environment, climate change, energy policy, and nature contact; toxic effects of chemicals; and environmental health policy. He is the author, co-author, or editor of over 200 scientific journal articles, chapters, and books, including the standard environmental health textbook, Environmental Health: From Global to Local.

Dr. Frumkin received his A.B. from Brown University, his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, his M.P.H. and Dr.P.H. from Harvard, his Internal Medicine training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Cambridge Hospital, and his Environmental and Occupational Medicine training at Harvard. He is Board-certified in Internal Medicine and in Environmental and Occupational Medicine, and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Collegium Ramazzini and the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. He loves cycling, kayaking, and hiking.  He is married to radio journalist Joanne Silberner, and has two children.

Contact Information

University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-4695
Tel: 206-897-1723

Research Interests

  • Climate change and health, Energy policy and health, The Built Environment and health

Teaching interests

Environmental health survey course


DrPH, Epidemiology, Harvard University, 1993
MPH, Occupational Health, Harvard University, 1982
MD, Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 1982
AB, Science and Society, Brown University, 1977
Selected Publications

Books and journal issues

Frumkin H, Frank L, Jackson RJ. Urban Sprawl and Public Health. Washington: Island Press, 2004. Named a Top Ten Book of 2005 by Planetizen, the Planning and Development Network.

Packard R, Brown P, Berkelman R, Frumkin H, Eds. Emerging Illnesses and Society: Negotiating the Public Health Agenda. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004.

Frumkin H, Ed. Environmental Health: From Global to Local. San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 2005. Winner of the Association of American Publishers 2005 Award for Excellence in Professional and Scholarly Publishing in Allied/Health Sciences. Second edition published 2010. Spanish edition (Salud Ambiental: De lo Global a lo Local) published 2010 by Pan-American Health Organization. Third edition published 2016.

Frumkin H, Geller R, Rubin IL, Eds. Safe and Healthy School Environments. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Frumkin H, Coussens C. Green Healthcare Institutions: Health, Environment and Economics. Washington: National Academies Press, 2007.

Frumkin H, McMichael AM, Guest Editors, special issue on Climate Change and Human Health. Am J Prev Med 2008;35(5).

Dannenberg A, Frumkin H, Jackson RJ. Making Healthy Places: A Built Environment for Health, Well-Being, and Sustainability. Washington: Island Press, 2011.

Journal articles

Dannenberg AL, Jackson RJ, Frumkin H, Schieber RA, Pratt M, Kochtitzky C, Tilson HH. The impact of community design and land use choices on public health: A scientific research agenda. Am J Public Health 2003;93(9):1500-08.

Peel JL, Tolbert PE, Klein M, Metzger KB, Flanders WD, Todd K, Mulholland JA, Ryan PB, Frumkin H. Ambient air pollution and respiratory emergency department visits in Atlanta, 1993-2000. Epidemiology 2005;16(2):164-74.

Frumkin H, Hess J, Vindigni S. Peak petroleum and public health. JAMA 2007;298:1688-1690.

Frumkin H, Hess J, Vindigni S. Energy and public health: The challenge of peak petroleum. Public Health Rep 2009;124:5-19.

Frumkin H, McMichael AJ. Climate change and public health: Thinking, communicating, acting. Am J Prev Med 2008;35:403-10.

Frumkin H, Hess J, Luber G, Malilay J, McGeehin M. The public health response to climate change. Am J Public Health 2008;98:435-45.

Stone B, Hess J, Frumkin H. Urban form and extreme heat events: Are sprawling cities more vulnerable to climate change than compact cities? Environ Health Persp 2010;118:1425–1428.

Richardson EA, Mitchell R, Hartig T, de Vries S, Astell-Burt T, Frumkin H. Green cities and health: A question of scale? J Epidemiol Comm Health 2012;66(2):160-65.

Frumkin H, Fried L, Moody HR. Aging, climate change, and legacy thinking. Am J Public Health 2012;102:1434-38.

Smith KR, Frumkin H, Balakrishnan K, et al. Energy and human health. Ann Rev Public Health 2013;34:25.1-25.30.

Hartig T, Mitchell R, de Vries S, Frumkin H.  Nature and health. Ann Rev Public Health 2014;35:207-28.

Graedel TE, Anex R, Carroll W, Daigger GT, Ferrão P, Frumkin H, et al. Sustainability for the nation: Resource connections and governance linkages. Environ Science Technol 2014:48:7197–99.

Patz JA, Frumkin H, Holloway TA, Haines AP.  Climate change:  Challenges and opportunities for global health. JAMA 2014;312:1565-80.]

Frumkin H.  Work that matters: Consequential environmental epidemiology.  Epidemiol 2015;2:137-40.

Whitmee S, Haines A, Beyrer C, Boltz F, Capon AG, de Souza Dias BF, Ezeh A, Frumkin H, et al.  Safeguarding human health in the Anthropocene epoch: report of The Rockefeller Foundation–Lancet Commission on planetary health.  Lancet 2015; 386:1973-2028.

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