Department Chair and Professor of Environmental Health

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Massachusetts, United States
Salary Not specified
Mar 30, 2021
Employment Level
Tenured/Tenured Track
Employment Type
Full Time

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health invites applications for the position of Department Chair and tenured Professor in the Department of Environmental Health. We seek an innovative scholar and visionary leader to direct a large, diverse, multidisciplinary department with a history of outstanding training and research.


Situated within a vibrant, globally engaged school of public health, the work of the Department of Environmental Health (EH) can be seen across three critical research areas:

1. Exposure, Epidemiology, and Risk (EER): including lead exposure, air pollution, bioaerosols, water, biomarkers, and epigenetics: see for more information

2. Environmental and Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology (EOME): including biomedical aspects of disease and injury, human studies, and molecular epidemiology: see for more information

3. Molecular and Integrative Physiological Sciences (MIPS): including air pollution, lung infection, and asthma: see for more information

The faculty, researchers, and students across all EH areas reflect the disciplinary range of environmental health, including chemists, engineers, epidemiologists, applied mathematicians, physicians, occupational health nurses, physiologists, cell biologists, molecular biologists, and microbiologists actively engaged in expansive cross-disciplinary research topics both within the department and across the School and University, as well as in many applied and clinical contexts. Whether uncovering the human consequences of pollution, enumerating the microscopic nuances of our changing climate, or developing the novel materials and policy-based solutions that become possible when we work together, this is all-encompassing and gravely important work demanding innovative and exacting leadership.

Our Harvard Chan School goals—delivering evidence-based education, creating and sustaining an inclusive intellectual community, translating academic knowledge into impactful service and population-based solutions, and employing the most innovative communication strategies—embrace both the scale and difficulty of our challenges because we understand the consequences and wholeheartedly commit ourselves to this work. By deploying key strengths in both the basic and social sciences, we are able to confront the most pressing diseases of our time, to study their biological, chemical, genetic, and societal foundations simultaneously, and to address both individuals and entire populations by understanding the influences of health-related behaviors, informing progress in clinical, public policy, and equity contexts, and empowering the public with the information and advocacy it needs to make and have access to healthy choices and resources.


The successful candidate will advance the department’s mission by fostering and expanding research activities, enriching the trainee experience, attracting and mentoring quality junior faculty, and providing strategic and tactical leadership at the levels of the department, School, and University. They will also be able to articulate a long-term vision for the future of the department in order to address existing and anticipated research needs and to advance public health around the world and around the corner. As part of a world-class team of deans and department chairs, the chair of Environmental Health will work laterally and vertically to solve both broadly shared and distinctly local challenges and to advance the School’s mission of helping people and populations thrive in a healthy world.

The incumbent will meet these goals in part through exhibiting strength in the following areas:


• Collaborating with the Dean and senior leadership to define and advance the School’s overarching strategic direction
• Collaborating with the Dean and senior faculty to set high-level programmatic direction, including in new and existing initiatives across all departmental programs and endeavors
• Collaborating with colleagues in finance, development, and research administration to ensure sound budgeting and long-range planning for programs, as consistent with strategic objectives


• Set clear and consistent goals for department faculty, staff, administrators, students, and non-faculty researchers
• Define, prioritize, and measure effectiveness of key programs and core work areas
• Advise, advocate, implement, and advance a diverse and inclusive culture in the School and department


• Create and model strong working relationships with programmatic and administrative leadership, faculty committees, affiliates, peer institutions, and external partners to support execution of programmatic initiatives
• Represent and advocate for the department within the School and University by developing productive relationships with colleagues across the institution and contributing to Harvard-wide priorities and initiatives in line with internal goals and objectives
• In partnership with the Dean and academic dean, lead the department’s primary faculty, core committees, and flagship programs to manage change and navigate growth effectively and efficiently
• Represent the department to key audiences across the School, University, and beyond, clearly articulating strategic objectives and key impacts, and emphasizing its unique value to both the institution and the world



• Relevant terminal degree (PhD, ScD, MD, or equivalent relevant terminal degree in a related discipline)

• Significant experience in academic public health research, teaching, administration, and leadership

• Forward-thinking leadership skills and concomitant ability to communicate department and School mission and vision to a variety of stakeholders

• Deep commitment to diversity and inclusion in all dimensions of public health

• Well-developed ability to prioritize within an organizationally, intellectually, financially complex environment; comfortable making decisions in a multifactorial and dynamic financial climate

• Experience handling sensitive and confidential information routinely and with the highest level of judgment; ability to have difficult conversations, to address and mediate conflict, and to provide highly customized mentorship across a diverse community

• Flexibility to pivot due to unforeseen events or outcomes while maintaining core priorities and meeting critical benchmarks

NOTE: The position assumes a firm start date of July 1, 2022.



At the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, we believe diversity is integral to the Harvard experience and our mission of improving public health education, research and policy. Diversity of cultural backgrounds, identities, lived experiences, perspectives, and ways of understanding the world enriches our community and enables us to best meet the public health needs of the United States and the world.

Ongoing learning and development related to diversity allows for both individual and institutional growth and is necessary to foster and sustain a culture of inclusion. To achieve this, we are committed to ensuring equitable access to opportunities for learning, living, and working at Harvard T.H. Chan.

We maintain an unwavering dedication to diversity, inclusion, and belonging as core to our institutional values and to actively address racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, gender bias, and all forms of discrimination.




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