George Gray, Ph.D.
Environmental and Occupational Health
In both academic and policymaking settings, Professor Gray has long been committed to the effective use of science to inform public health choices, and emphasizes the importance of communicating those choices effectively to citizens, journalists, and lawmakers. Risk analysis, including the tradeoffs that must be made when risks exist on both sides of a decision, has been a core component of that work.
Prior to joining the Milken Institute SPH in 2010, Professor Gray served as assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Research and Development and as the agency science advisor, promoting scientific excellence in EPA research, advocating for the continuing evolution of the agency’s approach to analysis, and encouraging programs that provide academic research to support EPA’s mission. His areas of focus included nanotechnology, ecosystem research, the influence of toxicology advances on testing and risk assessment, and sustainability.
From 2001 to 2005, Professor Gray was executive director of the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, and a member of the faculty at the Harvard School of Public Health. In addition to teaching, he applied the tools of risk analysis to public health problems ranging from mad cow disease to pesticides in food to the risks and benefits of fish consumption. Making good public health decisions means assessing what we know, characterizing what we don’t, and moving forward.
Bachelor of Science (Biology), University of Michigan, 1985
Master of Science (Toxicology), University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, 1988
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, 1989
George’s primary research interests are risk characterization, risk communication and the role of science in policy-making. Particular areas of emphasis include the role of risk analysis in sustainability decisions, characterizing the risks of sparsely tested chemicals and improving the use of scientific information in regulatory decisions.
During his government service Professor Gray served on several committees of the National Science and Technology Council and co-chaired the National Nanotechnology Environmental Health Initiative. He has been a councilor and President (2012-1013) of the Society for Risk Analysis and task force member for the Society of Toxicology. He has served on scientific advisory committees for the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
- Risk characterization, communication, and policy
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