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Richard Jackson

Expert Profile

Richard Jackson

Professor and Chairman, Environmental Health Sciences
School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles
all public health-related activities for California
emergency preparedness, especially related to terrorism
obesity epidemic in California
public health workforce in California
cancer, asthma, radiation effects, pesticide exposure, and toxicology, especially lead poisoning in children
government and health


Dr. Richard J. Jackson is a professor and the chairman of environmental health sciences at UCLA's School of Public Health. Previously, he was an adjunct professor of environmental health services at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. He also served as state public health officer for the California Department of Health Services. His responsibilities included direct leadership and oversight of the department's public health-related activities. His major priorities were emergency preparedness (especially related to terrorism), reversing the obesity epidemic in California, and revitalizing the state's public health workforce. Jackson is a graduate of UC San Francisco's School of Medicine, where he began his residency in pediatrics. However, he took time off for a stint with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta as an officer in the Epidemic Intelligence Service. That was the beginning of a long career in public service. Jackson obtained a master's in public health from UC Berkeley and began work as a public health medical officer with the California Department of Health Services. Selected to be director of the CDC's National Center for Environmental Health in 1994, Jackson worked to study and address issues such as cancer, asthma, radiation effects, pesticide exposure, and toxicology, especially lead poisoning in children. In August 2003, CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding asked Jackson to serve as her senior advisor. In March 2004, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Jackson state public health officer. He held that post until mid-2005.

UCLA School of Public Health, 56-070 CHS
650 Charles E. Young Drive South
Los Angeles  California  90095
United States
Office Phone: 
(310) 206-8522
Office Fax: 
(310) 794-2106


The Center for Health Journalism’s 2023 National Fellowship will provide $2,000 to $10,000 reporting grants, five months of mentoring from a veteran journalist, and a week of intensive training at USC Annenberg in Los Angeles from July 16-20. Click here for more information and the application form, due May 5.


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