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Thomas A. Burke, PhD

  • Jacob I. and Irene B. Fabrikant Chair
  • Professor

Departmental Affiliations

Center & Institute Affiliations

Contact Information

624 N. Broadway
Hampton House 429
Baltimore, Maryland 21205


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PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 1984
MPH, University of Texas, 1976


Thomas A. Burke, PhD, MPH, 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 Academy of Sciences Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology. He was Chair of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Improving Risk Analysis that produced the report Science and Decisions, and chaired the NAS Committee on Human Biomonitoring for Environmental Toxicants and the Committee on Toxicants and Pathogens in Biosolids Applied to Land. He also served on the NAS 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.

Honors and Awards

2013 Undergraduate Public Health Golden Apple Award for teaching excellence.

2011 Ernest Lyman Stebbins Medal, for outstanding contributions to education.

2008 Golden Apple Award for teaching excellence.

2007 Faculty Award for Excellence in Academic Public Health Practice from the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH2007

2006 Society for Risk Analysis - Fellow of the Society

In recognition of outstanding contributions to Risk Analysis

2004 Golden Apple Award for teaching excellence.

2002 National Academy of Sciences Lifetime National Associate

In recognition of extraordinary service to the National Academies

2002 CDC NCEH Director’s Award – Friend of the Center

National Center for Environmental Health

1998 Delta Omega Honor Society.

1998 Golden Apple Award for teaching excellence.

1995 Homer Calvert Award and Lecture, in recognition of contributions to the field of environmental health. Environmental Health Section of the American Public Health Association.

  • environmental health policy
  • risk assessment and communication
  • environmental epidemiology
  • health policy and management