BCPP’s Changemakers’ Chat webinar interview series is bringing together the BCPP community and our partners during this time of uncertainty.
This month, we talk with two leading science and policy experts who share their history of using science to impact public health and drive change. Dive into a talk on toxic chemicals, COVID-19, environmental justice, and navigating politics during this difficult time.
Linda S. Birnbaum, Ph.D., D.A.B.T., A.T.S., Scientist Emeritus and the Former Director of the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, as well as the National Toxicology Program (NTP), positions she held from January 18, 2009 until October 3, 2019. Dr. Birnbaum is also a Scholar in Residence, Duke University. In total, Linda has worked as a federal scientist for nearly 40 years. She also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health and as a member of the editorial board of Environment International. Prior to becoming the director of the NIEHS and NTP, Linda worked at the National Toxicology Program as a senior staff fellow, then as a research microbiologist, and then as a group leader for the Chemical Disposition Group. Birnbaum then began a stint at the Environmental Protection Agency, where she directed the largest agency focused on environmental health research for 19 years. She has also served as the past president of the Society of Toxicology. Linda has authored over 600 peer-reviewed publications. Her research focuses on the pharmacokinetic behavior of environmental chemicals and their health effects. She is well known for her research on endocrine disruptors, particularly dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs).
Meredith Williams is the Director of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control. She was appointed to the position by Governor Gavin Newsom on December 19, 2019. Meredith joined DTSC in 2013 as Deputy Director of the Department’s Safer Consumer Products Program to lead the implementation of California’s groundbreaking effort to reduce toxic chemicals in consumer products. She has expertise in research and development, product management, and operations for Fortune 500 companies in the technology, consumer product, and chemical sectors, including 3M and Applied Materials, a leading semiconductor manufacturer. Following her work in the private sector, Meredith held a number of leadership positions at the nonprofit San Francisco Estuary Institute, a nationally recognized center for science in support of aquatic resource management.Meredith strives for collaborative solutions to complex problems and has a track record of championing interdisciplinary project management approaches. She holds a B.A. degree from Yale University and a doctorate in physics from North Carolina State University.
Amanda Heier, BCPP President and CEO
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