Howard Frumkin, DrPH, MPH, MD

Dean, School of Public Health
Professor, Env. and Occ. Health Sciences (Primary department)

Howard Frumkin is Dean, and 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 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 Bullitt Foundation, the Children and Nature Network, the Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute, and the U.S. Green Building Council, on the National Research Council Committee on Sustainability Linkages in the Federal Government, on the American Institute of Architects Design and Health Leadership Group, on the Executive Committee for the Regional Open Space Strategy for Central Puget Sound, on the Yale Climate and Energy Institute External Advisory Board, on Procter & Gamble's Sustainability Expert Advisory Panel, and on the Advisory Board for the National Sustainable Communities Coalition. He previously served on the national Board of Directors of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), where he co-chaired the Environment Committee; as president of the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC); as chair of the Science Board of the American Public Health Association (APHA); on the National Toxicology Program Board of Scientific Counselors; and on the Board of the National Environmental Education Foundation, and on Seattle's Green Ribbon Commission, developing the city's climate plan. 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 or co-author of over 200 scientific journal articles and chapters, and his books include Urban Sprawl and Public Health (Island Press, 2004, co-authored with Larry Frank and Dick Jackson; named a Top Ten Book of 2005 by Planetizen, the Planning and Development Network), Emerging Illness and Society (Johns Hopkins Press, 2004, co-edited with Randall Packard, Peter Brown, and Ruth Berkelman), Environmental Health: From Global to Local (Jossey-Bass, 2005 and 2010), Safe and Healthy School Environments (Oxford University Press, 2006, co-edited with Leslie Rubin and Robert Geller), Green Healthcare Institutions: Health, Environment, Economics (National Academies Press, 2007, co-edited with Christine Coussens), and Making Healthy Places: Designing and Building for Health, Well-Being, and Sustainability (Island Press, 2011, co-edited with Andrew Dannenberg and Dick Jackson).

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 Occupational Medicine training at Harvard. He is Board-certified in Internal Medicine and in 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 is married to journalist Joanne Silberner, and has two children, Gabe (25), a field organizer for the Ed Markey Senate campaign, and Amara (22), a Yale undergraduate.

Contact Information

University of Washington
Office: Office of the Dean
Box 357230
Seattle, WA 98195-
Tel: 206-543-1144

Research Interests

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

In the News

Teaching interests

Environmental health survey course


DrPH, Epidemiology, Harvard University, 1993
MPH, Occupational Health, Harvard University, 1982
MD, Medicine (MD), 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.

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

Frumkin H. Across the water and down the ladder: Workers in the global economy. Occup Med State of the Art Rev 1999;14:637-64.

Frumkin H, Walker ED, Friedman-Jiménez G. Minority workers and communities. Occup Med State of the Art Rev 1999;14:495-518.

Frumkin H. Beyond toxicity: The greening of environmental health. Am J Prev Med 2001;20:234-40.

Frumkin H, Williams PL, Pierce P, Sanders A, Elon L, Manning CC, Woods JS, Hertzberg VS, Mueller P, Taylor BB. Diagnostic chelation of former mercury workers with dimercaptosuccinic acid (succimer). En viron Health Persp 2001;109:167-71.

Frumkin H. Urban sprawl and public health. Public Health Reports 2002;117(3):201-17.

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.

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