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Shelley A. Hearne, DrPH

  • Visiting Professor

Departmental Affiliations

Contact Information

624 N. Broadway
Hampton House 482
Baltimore, Maryland 21205


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DrPH, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, 1994
MPH, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, 1988


Dr. Hearne has spent over three decades as a change maker bent on boosting the health, safety, and sustainability of our planet and the people on it.  She works with foundations, policy-makers, the private and non-profit sectors to tackle some of the thorniest health and environmental issues of the day: from finding solutions in urban health policy to reducing exposure to toxic chemicals in our everyday lives.

Dr. Hearne serves as the principal investigator for CityHealth ( and as a senior advisor to  the Big Cities Health Coalition, which is a forum for the leaders of the nation's largest metropolitan health departments. She is also the executive director of the Forsythia Foundation.

Previously, she was the managing director of the Pew Health Group of The Pew Charitable Trusts, overseeing its food safety, medical safety, research, and biomedical programs.  She was also the founding Executive Director of the Trust for America’s Health, a national health advocacy organization dedicated to preventing epidemics, protecting people. Her past posts included  Executive Director of the Pew Environmental Health Commission, the Acting Director of the NJ DEP Office of Pollution Prevention, and a scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council. She was the Chair of the American Public Health Association’s Executive Board and Vice President of the Council on Education for Public Health – the accreditation body for public health schools. She has authored many national health reports, from bioterrorism to obesity. Dr. Hearne has testified regularly before the U.S. Congress on bioterrorism, pandemic preparedness, health tracking and public health funding. She provides continual service to the public health field serving on National Academy of Science Committees (including the Oversight Committee, Division on Earth and Life Studies) and chairing accreditation site visits to public health schools, such as Harvard and Yale Universities.

Honors and Awards

The 2013 Common Good Award, which honors those Bowdoin alumni who have demonstrated an extraordinary, profound, and sustained commitment to the common good, in the interest and for the benefit of society.

The Senator Frank Lautenberg Award for lifetime achievement in public health advocacy, 2006.

University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and Rutgers University School of Public Health graduation speaker, 2006.

Keynote Speaker for the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health Hooding Ceremony (graduation), 2006

Delta Omega Society member, Alpha Eta Chapter, elected 2006.

2004 Delta Omega Curricula Award for the class, Issues in Health Advocacy. Through the Association of Schools of Public Health, the top national award for innovative public health curriculum, which integrates practical community-based practice and scholarship into classroom discussions, applies public health principles, uses science-based decision-making and involves the community in a teaching partnership.

  • advocacy food safety bioterrorism preparedness pandemic influenza health tracking public health infrastructure

Hearne has published a range of articles, covering urban health department needs, health advocacy and accountablity reports on the nation's status addressing major health emergencies, obesity and other critical public health problems. Below is a small sampling.


    Hearne, S., 2015. "Bearing Fruit: The Fight for FDA's Food Safety Reforms" Health Affairs, Nov. Vol. 31, no. 11

  • Hearne, S., Castrucci, B., Leider, J.P. et al, 2015, "The Future of Urban Health: Needs, Barriers, Opportunities, and Policy Advancement at Large Urban Health Departments," Journal of Public Health Management & Practice. 21():S4-S13, January/February.


    Glendening, P. Hearne, S., Segal, L., Juliano, C., and Earls, M. 2005 “F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies are Failing in America – 2005.” Trust for America’s Health. Washington, DC.


    Hearne, S., Hamburg, M.A., Segal, L. 2004 “Commentary: SARS and Its Implications for U.S. Public Health Policy: ‘We’ve Been Lucky’.” Biosecurity and Bioterrorism, Volume 2, No. 2


    Hearne, S., Segal, L., Earls, M., Juliano C., and Stephens, T. 2005 “Ready or Not? Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases, Disasters, and Bioterrorism 2005.” Trust for America’s Health. Washington, DC.